Begin With the Physical

Moving to a new country can be challenging in many ways. I’ve recently moved to the Philippines to pursue a masters degree. Three weeks have flown by and I am still trying to get a handle on everything – while keeping up with the pressure of my post-graduate course work. Needless to say, it’s taking longer than expected to settle in. However, it is a new beginning – a fresh start. There are a few changes I’d like to make in my life – some major and minor adjustments. Everything from implementing a new daily routine to starting an exercise program (which I have started), to becoming an early riser. Where to start? That is what this post is about.

Many of us have improvements we want to implement in our lives – whether it be in our careers, relationships, health or spiritual aspects. The question is – where should you begin? My suggestion is to begin with the physical. This is where I have started since moving here over two weeks ago and I’m already experiencing fantastic results! Improving your level of fitness and/or diet will produce some positive results in the long run. Improving your level of fitness and diet will help you experience extra energy available to you throughout the day. This will result in more energy to invest in your career, relationships, mental, and spiritual development.

It’s been said that people spend their first 40 years trading their health for wealth, and then they spend the next 40 years trading their wealth for health. This is not a trade-off we should make at all.

A fact is that you take your body with you wherever you go. If you are overweight, you carry around all that excess weight at all times. Currently, I am about 7kg overweight (I know, right!). That extra mass may not seem like much, but imagine carrying around an extra 7kg dumbbell all day long.  Soon it feels exhausting and tires you out much faster. This started happening to me just walking up and down campus to and from my lectures. Many times I had to stop at my destination and take a few minutes just to catch my breath (yup, I’m ashamed!). 7kg of excess fat weighs the same as a 7kg dumbbell, and carrying it around all is burdensome and energy draining.

I remember the times in my life when I kept to a strict exercise routine and watched my diet. I was able to think clearer. I could concentrate for much longer periods without getting tired (good for studying). This is because I had a lot more energy resulting from daily exercise. Now I’m not talking about running a marathon or doing ten laps around the soccer field or any thing like that. Start small. Make it manageable and enjoyable. Just brisk walking is a good start.

One of the many advantages of exercise is that it provides an increase in blood flow in your body. This helps oxygenate the body, especially the brain. I find that after a good cardio session like a 3km brisk walk I am ready to hit the books and get some work done. Another key benefit of improving your body through exercise is the physical results will show within a short space of time. This is very satisfying and an important motivating factor. One has to be consistent though, something that I’ve been struggling with. However, as a general rule of thumb, don’t miss more than 2 consecutive days. This is because loss of fitness appears gradually and you will hardly even notice it. If you eat poorly and don’t exercise, you will pay the consequences.

In conclusion, starting with the physical is my way of starting to make improvements in my life. So far, so good. I can already see some small positive changes, especially with regards to increased energy and more stamina than I had just three weeks ago.

 

Question: What do you begin with when you want to make some improvements in your life? Share in the comments below. 

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