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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
May 9, 2011
Taking Care of Yourself
In most of the U.S., the weather is getting warmer and more of us are spending time outside. Along with warmer temperatures comes the opportunity to increase our activity levels. It’s much easier to get outside for a brisk walk in the morning when spring arrives. Why is physical activity important to quitting smoking? It has been proven that when you change this area of your lifestyle along with quitting, your chances of being successful at both increase. Plus, adding to your physical activity level will help you maintain or even lose weight.
Walking is one of the best ways you can get moving and begin to increase your overall level of activity. If you walk for just 30 minutes most days of the week, you will see the benefits. Your energy level will increase, you’ll get your heart pumping and you’ll enjoy some fresh air. Experts tell us that if we do something every day for three weeks in a row, it then becomes part of our routine. Challenge yourself to walk or do something to increase your activity each day for three weeks.
Think about what you used to enjoy doing when you were younger. Did you like to ride a bike? Skate? Dance? Play ball? Choose a fun activity and you’ll find that it’s easier to stick to it. Is there a basketball, softball or volleyball team at your office? Maybe you should consider joining the team this year.
We recommend checking with a physician or health care provider before starting an exercise program. Make sure that the level of activity that you are going for is appropriate for you. When we try to do too much too soon, it can lead to other problems—the least of which is giving up on an exercise routine all together.
Remember that some things we might not think of as “exercise” really do help us increase our activity levels. Things like washing the car, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, gardening, and even vacuuming all count as exercise since they help us burn off some calories and get the blood flowing. Review the “Physical Activity for a Fit Life” lesson in Module 7.
Speaking of seeing a physician, did you know that May 10 is National Women’s Check Up Day? If you haven’t had an annual physical, this is a good reminder to schedule one. Be sure to tell your physician how you’re doing with your quit journey. He or she is sure to be proud of your efforts to quit smoking!
This week, your homework is to take care of yourself: Increase your physical activity in some way, schedule a physical with your doctor if you haven’t had one in a year, and pat yourself on the back. You’re already doing one of the best possible things to protect your health by being smokefree!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.