by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
As spring approaches, we anticipate the next phase. Use fitness to prepare you, not only for shorts and tanks but for inner wellness. New beginnings are only sunrises away …
By winter’s end, we are anxious. Any perks are worn out– snowflakes, skiing, cozy visits by the fireplace, steaming beverages, and oven-baked meals. We found winter’s best and made it work for three long months. In March, we’re drained, probably short on tissues, patience, and bleach wipes. Irritability set in with the last cold and made itself too comfortable.
It’s time to look forward to a season known for renewal. One doesn’t need to be religious to recognize spring as a time of awakening and starting fresh. We are ready for it by March. We are ready to heal, whether from seasonal illness, injury, or a sad heart. Nature is ready with us. Look around and be inspired. Continue the process of self-improvement.
Who Are You?
As you emerge from winter and transform with this new season, be selective about which habits, relationships, and attitudes travel with you to the future. Often, people feel more challenged in colder months, both physically and emotionally. Reasons for winter blues go beyond less daylight hours. Spring allows new opportunities; less time needs to be spent combating winter aches of joints, sinuses, or the heart.
Unfortunate life circumstances, often unexpected, are unavoidable. They help define us. From a health crisis to a loved one’s death, these occurrences are as much a part of life as birth itself. There are occasions when grief must accompany us on our journey. Disappointments abound to teach life lessons. Heartbreak happens as people grow apart, grow up, and grow old.
In many ways, we are in a constant state of healing. We heal as we sleep, replenishing the body’s tissues, muscles, and cells. Even healthy physical activities– such as fitness, sports, and gardening– require healing as the body repairs itself from positive exertion. Quite simply, you may be healing from yesterday’s random comment, uttered at you during the rush of the day. Insignificant to the speaker, yet wounding to you.
Although instinct may cause us to ignore the body’s need to heal, grieve, and overcome, a healthy embrace of these adds strength beyond the Exercise Floor. Rid yourself of incorrect thinking. There is something to be done. It’s time to “feel better,” for a day, a morning, a minute. Consider springtime a respite, a breaking dawn after winter’s grayness.
Take care of yourself and rejuvenate. To say a fitness plan or a Group Fitness class can clear your body of all pain and grief is unreasonable. Exercise has countless benefits to the physical, mental, and spiritual self. But, it cannot work miracles. Patience is required during all healing.
Eager for brighter days that radiate warmth, approach each one mindfully. In due time, efforts will pay off. A Cycling class may not allow you to outpace challenges or ride over inner turmoil. It can contribute to healing through a strong, healthy body that is motivated to go beyond the present and enrich life.
Physical injuries are usually allotted more leniency during the healing process. They can be seen, there is a definite area of pain, progress can be witnessed even if by x-ray or blood tests. Healing takes as long as it needs. Rehabilitation programs dictate how to exercise and when. The process is more defined, with general timeframes for the stages, albeit estimated. Patience is granted.
Strength Training of a Different Kind
As we grow from an injury– and that is truly the outcome– it takes strength, tenacity, and a good attitude (most days). Exercise may not make your ex fall in love with you again. It cannot bring back your beloved pet. It won’t solve financial woes. Yet, fitness as a way of life provides comfort. A lifelong friend, your workout is there when all else lets you down. It’s ready to help build you up in body and spirit. This is one of the many reasons to choose workouts you enjoy. They can be your oasis. They can power you to heal through challenging seasons of life.
Listen to your body. More than ever, be in tune with yourself. Healing takes energy and draws from physical and mental capacities. Approach workouts with care when the ache is too strong. Emotional exhaustion also affects the ability to accomplish a standard routine. Know your limitations and adapt exercises accordingly.
If your situation is too overwhelming, dedicate your thoughts and energies to it for a specified amount of time. Then, workout in a better state, and distract yourself with the burning of muscles and pumping of your heart as you advance toward improved health. Be amazed at all your accomplishments. None are too small when healing.
A Time for Sharing
Consider making your workouts a time for support. It can come in the form of a workout buddy, personal trainer, fitness instructor, or a class full of fun. Recognize you are entitled to smile and enjoy life, even during stormy times. It doesn’t disrespect your pain. We know your ankle still throbs or your heart sobs.
Reach out and seek the expertise and comfort of others. You are not alone as you travel this journey. A personal trainer may have been inspired to have this career as a result of chronic pain. A fellow member could have recently experienced a loss or traumatic event. Give them the opportunity to share their story. It’s a gift, for then they realize how strong and wise they have emerged. You may learn a more comfortable way to sleep with a frozen shoulder or a sentiment to get through a lonely night. You are part of a massive universe: unique yet the same. Be reassured.
Rehabilitation & Reconditioning
For exercises to take you through the healing process, refer to your physician, physical therapist, personal trainers, and Group Fitness instructors. They can provide the specifics needed to advance you to the next level of physical healing. Pilates, yoga, and other exercises rooted in the mind-body connection are excellent for simultaneously incorporating spiritual healing.
Don’t discount the everyday stint on the treadmill or laps in the pool. You should bring your brain to all exercise methods. Give yourself a break by focusing on your movement. Be renewed by continuing to pursue health even when hurdling life’s obstacles. You are more than this injury, setback, or grief. It is a part of who you are becoming. Healing, after all, is the process of making something better.
Grow with this new season. Administer large quantities of patience. It takes time for sunshine to break through those clouds. Care for yourself. Care for others. And that, friends, is how you rehabilitate your spirit.
“Exercise and Fitness– A Total Benefit Package” at www.allthingshealing.com.
www.bodyawaregrieving.com (Margo Rose)
Spring flower (introductory photo): http://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/5436849997/
Look beyond grief: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elbonsaidelentejas/3390320942/
Water cascade: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hygienematters/4271117207/
Exercise break: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncoles/2862274129/