Life

Feeling out of sorts? Get back in rhythm

Athletic weight belts at a gym. Social distancing, no showers initially, pods around classes and exercise machines and u
Athletic weight belts at a gym. Social distancing, no showers initially, pods around classes and exercise machines and ubiquitous bottles of sanitizers and disinfectants are among the features of fitness clubs during the coronavirus pandemic. (Dreamstime/TNS)

My friend sent me a humorous remark about the 2020 pandemic earlier this week: “This pandemic has been so long I got into and back out of shape.” I chuckled because unfortunately, I can totally relate to this comment.

At the beginning of April, my husband and I intentionally made a recommitment to our health, largely due to the scare of COVID-19. We made exercise a priority by scheduling workouts, we were eating healthy and making a point to get adequate sleep. We were feeling really great, but then at the beginning of summer our schedules changed, the initial shock of the coronavirus wore off and we slowly got away from scheduling our workouts and meal prepping.

While the joke about “getting into and back out of shape” during a pandemic may be humorous, there really isn’t anything funny about the horrific numbers of those affected by COVID-19. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says 94 percent of COVID-19 deaths also had underlying medical conditions. Being overweight, having an unhealthy diet and/or not getting adequate sleep can all contribute to underlying medical conditions like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The threat of coronavirus is just one more reason why it’s important to keep health and well-being a priority. Looking back on our healthy streak at the beginning of the year, my husband and I would both agree that we were in a good “rhythm.” After the derecho, we have both felt extremely out of rhythm. Maybe you can also relate?

Beginning a new season, (and right before cold and flu season), my husband and I, along with a few friends, decided to recommit ourselves to some healthy rhythms going into the fall beginning with “Simple September.”

My husband and I are aiming to add more rhythms in our life starting with • 10 minutes of exercise every day

• Serving of fruit or vegetable with every meal

• No phones in bed

The purpose of keeping the challenge simple is to help create rhythms in our life. Some of these intentions may seem extremely easy, like the fruits and veggies goal. I realize that I am very conscious of the fruits and veggies I give my kids, but I find myself skimping on enough servings for myself (five to nine servings/day). With these new intentions in mind, I am now adding bananas to my oatmeal, having apple slices and peanut butter for a snack instead of a granola bar and getting an extra serving of veggies at dinner.

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“Rhythm is essential,” says Joanna Gaines, co-star of “Fixer Upper” and co-founder of “Magnolia Journal” magazine, “When we aren’t in rhythm we flounder, or worse, we break apart. And so when I look at how rhythm affects everything in my own life and in the world around me, my hope is that we will lean into cadences that make for both big and small changes and lead to a life well loved.”

Yes, life can be crazy and scary and unpredictable at times — we learned that as a community last month with the storm. A way to combat chaos is by creating rhythms; healthy rhythms can bring peace, predictability, rest, rejuvenation and security.

What healthy rhythms would you like to get into this fall? This Labor Day weekend could be a perfect time to recommit to health and well-being with your own “Simple September” challenge.

Kylie Alger is a certified wellness coach and co-owner of the Well-Woman: Body, Mind & Spirit. Comments: kylie@thewellwoman.org

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