As a personal trainer I’ve worked with a lot of people, busy mums and dads, business owners and people with extremely stressful jobs. They are so busy looking after everything and everyone else most of them are really bad at looking after themselves.
It might surprise you to learn that I’ve also been guilty of this in the past. I took my eye off the ball for too long and it turned my entire life upside down. As a result I’ve learned a lot over the years, both personally and professionally, that I hope you can learn from.
I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people fail to prioritise their health.
- They don’t have enough time to exercise
- They’re too tired after a long day
- They’re stressed from the pressures of parenthood
- They think you have to commit hours to an exercise regime
- They don’t their health as a priority
Whilst these are all valid points the most important point for me, and the thing I see most of, is that most of us fail to see our own health as a priority. We all know the safety demonstration before an aeroplane takes off don’t we? In the event of a loss of cabin pressure the oxygen mask will drop down. “Fit your own before trying to help others” This is said for a reason, how on earth can you help someone else if you’re struggling to breathe yourself?
The same applies to your health. If you don’t prioritise it by taking regular exercise, eating foods that nourish your body and taking time out to relax and do the things you love your health will suffer. I’m not normally one to shatter anyone’s illusion but not one of us is Super Woman or Superman and I’m going to let you into a little secret………….they’re not real.
I thought I was Super Woman once…….
I worked hard in my job for several years doing special courses, attachments, a series of exams and several interviews to land my ideal job. When I finally landed that job I thought I’d won the lottery, everything I’d done in the previous 6 years had finally paid off.
Everything was great for the first 18 months. Don’t get me wrong, the work was hard, sometimes I didn’t know what time I’d be leaving and there were sometimes phone calls in the middle of the night that needed me to get dressed and go to work but, in spite of all this, I loved my work and I was good at it.
I went to the gym before I started work at 9 and I used to take my food with me so I knew I was eating well if I was miles from anywhere with a job.
Poor health manifests itself in many different ways, sustained lethargy or lack of energy even though you’ve had a full nights sleep, gut or digestive problems, inability to lose weight, one too many minor illnesses in the space of a few months, stress and its related symptoms, the list is endless .
How is any of this related to your life suffering if you don’t make your own health a priority?
I think because “everything was great” and I loved my job I carried on as normal even though colleagues were gradually taken away to do other roles over the course of a few months. The amount of work remained the same but I was Super Woman, remember?
Because it happened gradually I forgot to take care of me. I still exercised even though I was exhausted, my eating was haphazard at best and my mind never rested from work. In short I was stressed to the max and once I admitted I had a problem I plunged into a massive depression and went off sick. I forgot to fit my own oxygen mask before I helped others and I lost the joy for so many things that I used to love.
So what can you do to make your health a priority?
150 minutes of moderate exercise every week………30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, it’s a fast walk
Eat a varied, nutritious diet 80% of the time.
And take time alone (no tech) to chill out.
And if you take nothing else from my experience just remember You are not a comic book superhero!!!!
Your health is your wealth.