The best medicine

I spent the last couple of days feeling “off”. I was lethargic and unmotivated. I slept in a little to feel less exhausted, but mentally I still wasn’t on point.

When I woke up yesterday morning, it seemed like the day would be much the same.

But as I nestled deeper into the covers and thought how much better I would feel with an hour more sleep, something in the back of my mind said “Get up and run.”

That advice contradicted every other signal I was feeling, but for some reason I decided to follow it.

I got up, changed into running tights and Vibram Five Fingers, walked around and stretched, and then told the dogs to sit tight and that I’d be right back.

I felt mud and melted snow seep between the toes of my shoes as I walked down the driveway in the balmy 40-degree temperatures, and when I got to the road, I started jogging.

I was careful about my form, but even with that amount of concentration, I felt so free. My knee felt good, and once I got going I couldn’t feel the dampness in my shoes. It was all movement and fresh air and fields and trees and the road in front of me. My mind cleared, and I felt refreshed.

I only went about a quarter mile when I thought about where I should turn around. My legs are not used to running, and I didn’t want anymore setbacks. I picked a driveway as my stopping point and began walking when I reached it. I walked a little more before turning around and then walked and jogged back.

The entire outing lasted about 5 minutes, but I felt refreshed for the rest of the day. I was able to focus better at work and didn’t have the restless yet exhausted feeling I had been experiencing recently.

It just goes to show that a little exercise can go a long way and can be such a mental boost. I realize that I hadn’t been exercising as much as I could, so I’ll pay more attention to my bike and elliptical trainers this winter. When we encourage kids to get 60 minutes of active play each day, it’s for a reason. Exercise is good for mind and body, and we shouldn’t forget that as adults.

I don’t know where that urging to get up and run came from, but I’m pretty glad I listened to it. Of course, now my shins and calves are sore, so I’m going to stretch and do some yoga now…

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