When Life Throws a Curve: Maintaining Health and Fitness in the Midst of the Unexpected

Lets face it—life is busy.

There is always SOMEthing to be dealt with. My goodness, when I was a kid, I had no clue there would be an endless line of little ‘things” that needed to get done in my adult daily life that would seem to suck the goodness right out of my day off. And then—the unexpected shows up and knocks you for a loop. A job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, an injury or illness—these are some pretty serious things that can change your life, and with the initial onset of these, there is a ton of stress. But there are other issues that occur as well, those which may not seem as serious, but can take their toll on you. Things like a job schedule change, a decision to go back to school, marriage, minor illness or injury or even just your child signing up for a new sport or activity. The list can go on.

The thing is—you can’t entirely plan for the unexpected. That’s why they call it “the unexpected.” For a lot of people, one of the first things that gets dropped in an effort to find balance in life, or just to be able to handle everything that needs to be handled, is their health and fitness. This is even more the case if you are new to your health and fitness journey, that’s why sites like Wisdoms of Health are so good because they are designed to help keep you interested in exercising, so that when life throws a curve at you, you can avoid it. So what do you do to avoid this? How can you keep the momentum that you have in your health and fitness journey when life throws a curve at you? Here are some things that have helped me in the past, or which I have seen or heard other people doing that helped them.

1. Start off by reading up on fitness advice and facts, for example from Fitness Goal, then be proactive: Sometimes, for some of these things, we know a little in advance that our schedules are going to get tighter. As soon as that happens, you have to take a look at your schedule “budget” and figure out what needs to go or how you can rearrange your schedule so that you can keep your health and fitness momentum. For instance, if you know your child is going to begin a new sporting season, and you will be driving them to practice right during the time when you would normally be exercising or prepping food, BEFORE you get to the week when that starts, take a look at your schedule and see what can be rearranged. PLAN to switch your workout and/or food prepping time to a new time that will work. If you don’t plan ahead when you have the opportunity, then the time of busi-ness will come upon you and you run the risk of losing your momentum. Don’t let that happen. Many people who lose their momentum, don’t get back into it for weeks, months, or even years. Plan ahead and proactively manage your schedule to make your health and fitness happen.

2. That brings me to the second point–which should actually be the first point–make health and fitness a priority. Like really–a PRI-OR-ITY. You know how there are some things in life that you must do, that are simply a non-negotiable part of your day or week? That’s where your health and fitness should fall. If you are far enough along in your fitness journey, you have probably already come to this realization. If not, then you need to see the reality of just how important your health and fitness are. I have seen way too many people who never made health and fitness their priority and over time, their health and fitness declines. This is inevitable. If we don’t take care of ourselves, after a certain age, our bodies WILL start to decline, to fall apart. Even just walking from the car and into the house can become a struggle. Squatting down to look at the back of your cupboard takes the breath from you, or becomes harder to do. I know for certain that I would like to reach old age with my ability to move intact. The only way I can do that is by investing in my health and fitness now, and making it a non-negotiable part of my life.

3. Use your workouts as your “natural medicine.” When our schedules become packed, our stress levels can hit the ceiling. Its during this time when we are at danger of stopping our fitness routine, just so we have a little elbow room to relax. But for the most part, that is a lie we tell ourselves. That is a band-aid on a major wound. It might help to rest and skip a few workouts, but when three days turns into four, and four turns into two weeks, before we know it, several months have gone by without our having worked out at all. Here’s why it’s a lie–because when life throws us a curve, and we skip those first initial workouts, what we end up doing is filling that time with other “stuff” that needs to get done.

Now you are just busier and more stressed and still not taking care of yourself. Instead, why not use your workout time to breathe in more fully, or work out your frustrations and help you get through these stressful times? If you struggle to do this by yourself then it might be a good idea to get a personal trainer who might be able to help motivate you, why don’t you have a look at something like this Ultimate Performance company to give you a better idea of what you could get and how they might be able to help you. Maybe you don’t have as much energy and you want to take it easy. Instead of entirely skipping out, why not step back by lifting lighter weights and focusing more on the breath–one long inhale for the negative lift, one long exhale for the positive lift. Let the workout be a time to focus on something other than your hectic life. Or, instead of running your normal five miles, why not walk them instead, and use your iPod or other choice of audio device to listen to some soothing music–or just listen to nature. I know its hard to stay fit. And while I can say I have made health and fitness a priority in my life, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. There are many times it’s hard to do. But for me, it’s a non-negotiable. Its not a question of will I workout and eat right when life throws me a curve, it’s more a question of “how will I make this work now? What do I need to do to continue this?” I am hoping you have made your health a priority, but if not, I hope these little tips will help you along your way.

by Bethany Lee projectwhitespace.com – fitness inspiration for whitespace in our lives

Bethany is a personal trainer and yoga instructor at Elite Physiques.

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I own a personal training studio in Lewis Center, Ohio. I love learning about nutrition, health, fashion, blogging, being outside, animals, and helping you to get healthy and lean. I am also a photographer. You can follow my fashion blog at http://livelyjoy.com

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Medical Disclaimer I am not a physician or medical health professional. Any of the information shared in this blog (text, graphics, images and other material) is based on my research and/or personal experience. None of my posts should serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician before launching any new health care regimen.

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