Are you struggling to make your health a priority? It’s a constant battle of willpower, isn’t it?
In one ear you hear, “Don’t eat the cupcake. You’ll regret it later. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.”
In the other ear you hear, “It’s ONE cupcake. And it’s CHOCOLATE. Just this once…”
I struggle with those voices, too 😉
Before my hysterectomy last year (a preventative surgery for me because of my high cancer risk due to lynch syndrome), my doctor sat me down and told me I had to get more intentional about my overall health and wellness. As a result, I approached my 40th birthday this year on a mission to improve my fitness.
I wasn’t terribly out-of-shape to begin with, but I also knew I wasn’t doing my best.
I’ve taken baby steps, made progress, and continue to improve. I’ve set goals for myself and I’m hitting them. I dead-lifted a 100-lb kettlebell several times on Tuesday. For me, that’s awesome. It feels great.
But I’ve also made a lot of mistakes. Have you, too?
Fitness at 40: 3 Health Mistakes I’ve Made & How I’m Fixing Them
Health Mistake #1: Convincing myself I didn’t have enough time to exercise.
If we want to control our weight, lower our stress, have strong bones, increase our energy levels, and reduce the risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer, then we’ve got to exercise. We can’t say we don’t have the time. It’s too important for our well-being and longevity. Plus, since my hysterectomy, I need strength training to help keep my bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis.
How I’m fixing this: I had to MAKE the time and get accountable to someone. I began seeing a personal trainer once a week during the summer months, and bumped up to twice a week at the end of August. My goal is to strength train three times a week by the end of the year. I’ve also made power walking a priority roughly three times a week.
Health Mistake #2: Telling myself an occasional soft drink was acceptable.
Soft drinks may be the beverage of choice for millions of Americans, but sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged just ONE can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than those who rarely consumed sugary drinks. A 22-year-long study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed just ONE can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks.
How I’m fixing this: I’ve stopped all soft drinks, and instead drink water, with an occasional mineral water maybe once a week as a treat (Perrier or San Pellegrino). The carbonated mineral water helps me get the fizz I miss from soft drinks. If I need something more, I’ll add a bit of juice to it.
Health Mistake #3: Not taking my vitamins.
Vitamin deficiencies are no joke. Over the past four years I’ve struggled with significant deficiencies in Vitamin D and Iron. I was tired all the time, experiencing hair loss and breakage, and very weak. I also struggled with depression and foggy thinking. The further north of the equator you live, the more you need to be aware of your D levels; it’s especially common in the winter months since there’s limited sun. The Vitamin D Council has more about deficiency symptoms here.
How I’m fixing this: Simple blood tests run by my physician were able to determine these deficiencies, and I took potent prescription vitamins for a time period to boost my levels quickly. I don’t need the iron supplements anymore, but I continue to take 5,000 IU of quality Vitamin D daily, by way of these GMO-free softgels.
What about you? What health mistakes have you made, and what are you doing about them?
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