Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thinking about fitness at the beach

I'm a bit late posting today, but let's just chalk it up to the fact that I was mesmerized by the sound of the waves. You see, I'm at the beach on the Florida Panhandle with the hubby for a last-minute pre-Christmas vacation. I LOVE coming down here when it's cold at home. It makes me feel positive and happy and healthy. I've gone walking both days I've been here, and I don't feel the need to listen to the iPod to make the time pass. Instead, I listen to the waves, the birds, the wind in the palm trees. I let myself daydream about living in one of the brightly painted beach houses, able to go walking on the beach anytime I want and never having to deal with snow and ice. I think that will be the image in my head from now on when I don't feel like writing -- write a lot, become successful, get a place at the beach. :)

This lovely time at the beach got me to thinking about the positive health aspects of getting away every once in awhile. We get go busy in our home environments, going fifty different ways, doing fifty different tasks, overscheduling to the point where we don't get enough sleep and end up feeling run down all the time. And when we get to that point, our immune systems are compromised and it's easier to fall victim to whatever bug is going around. We tend to grab food on the run, stuff that is not healthy for us. Our mental health suffers when we feel like we have no time to relax, to engage in things we like to do rather than what we have to do, to just "be." Even when we take a couple of hours to relax at home, to watch a movie or read a book, sometimes we can't turn off our awareness of all the other, more productive things we could be doing. But when you're away from home, with the sole purpose of relaxing, the body and mind are able to shift out of "do, do, do" mode and recharge.

Even though I had to bring an editing project with me because it had a short deadline, I only worked on it in chunks while the hubby was napping or while he was getting ready in the mornings. I finished it as he snoozed earlier today. But I've also made sure it didn't own my time away. I've sat on the balcony and listened to the waves and watched dolphins rolling in the surf. I've walked up and down the island. Hubby and I watched UP (so good) on the DVD player the first night and went to see Avatar at the theater yesterday (loved it, btw). We've gone out to eat a couple of times, but we also bought groceries at the local Publix and have been eating here at the condo to save money and not succumb to eating huge meals (both of which add to the collection of positive feelings this place brings about).

I think my biggest challenge will be the inevitable letdown when we have to go home, back to where it's been cold and gray lately. I will hate leaving the warmth and sunshine behind. But I've made a goal for the new year to take at least one "me" day a month and get away as often as I can. I firmly believe it's healthy as well as fun.

What about you all? What type of getaway replenishes you? Do you feel recharged and healthier when you return home as a result of the time away?


Michelle Butler on December 22, 2009 at 5:28 PM said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful time at the beach! I'm so glad. You are so right about the benefits of getting a way to relax and enjoy the moment. A minimum of one day a month of me time sounds like the best goal.

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