Let's Get PHYSICAL

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What does it mean to be on a journey to physical vitality? Physical Vitality is the health and well-being of your body. It’s the Vitality Domain that focuses on how you want your body to look and feel. It also addresses your attitudes and habits regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep and mindfulness. What really motivates us to take care of our bodies physically? What tips or tools assist us with staying fit? And, as I’ve been thinking about lately, how have our bodies changed over time?

In my childhood and teenage years, being physical was just a part of my everyday life. I spent a great deal of time playing tag, hopscotch, jump-rope and kick-ball. I played tennis and ended my week with a long nap. What happened to physical vitality over my twenties to late thirties? It simply stopped. With kids and a job, I found myself becoming more inactive because of I just didn’t have enough time. And with the convenience of internet shopping, I could get things done more quickly, but without the boost to my physical vitality. My life went from running and kicking ball shifted to sitting behind a computer for multiple hours.

However, it didn’t stay that way forever. Following the death of my mother, I lost a significant amount of weight. Then, I went from that place to gaining a large amount of weight. I knew something had to change. I started the vegan lifestyle which lasted about two months. Then I started an amazing kickboxing class, but I lost my courage after moving to another state in the middle of the year. Life happened and continues to happen, so I just went from being energized and active to being more inactive. I know the motivation is possible because I’ve made a change before, but it’s hard to make my own vitality a priority.

As the lead of Journey to Vitality at Be Strong Families, I know I need to be the change I want to see. If you read our previous blog post, you know that we started the path of wellness in our workplace through Journey to Vitality. We recognized that addressing our health was part of the holistic process needed to and beyond be our best selves. With the workplace wellness program, we are embodying the need to grow and develop within an environment that promotes wellness in the workplace, where we (and a lot of people) spend most of our time. We want to keep our staff, and our organization as a whole, happy and healthy so we can live out our mission.

As part of the workplace wellness program, we’re doing monthly challenges. In May, we are making the commitment to get physical and we want you to join us! Each week we are taking time to address some key components to being more physical:

  1. The first week, we are focusing our attention on incorporating ways we can be more active by doing small things like parking further from our destination, taking the steps instead of the elevator or escalator, walk or take a bike to work and sitting on a resistance ball at our desk. We can also stand up or walk around when talking on the phone and reducing screen time by using that time to take a walk.

  2. During our second week, we will be replacing water for one of the times we choose to drink coffee, soda or juice and we will be taking meat out of a meal or replacing a meal with a smoothie.

  3. For our third week, we will track how many hours we sleep. Research states that sleep plays a key role in physical health. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Sleep effects our vitality.

  4. In the last week, we will be doing mindfulness exercises, including yawning and stretching for 10 seconds every hour, three hugs and three big breaths, and mindfully eating a raisin or a grape.

We are encouraging you to get physical with us for the month of May and be a part of the Journey to Vitality.

Article by Nadia Washington, Journey to Vitality Project Lead & Senior Trainer