When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious health issue it certainly makes you appreciate what is important in life. You do not have a true understanding of situations unless it has happened to you. Once you experience this, for most, it creates a shift in priorities.
For myself, the shock of my mothers Breast Cancer diagnosis made me examine life and priorities. The courage and determination I saw from my mom especially through the trauma of Chemotherapy reminded me to not take for granted my experiences in life! Each workout was even more exhilarating and each day was a gift. As a Personal Trainer our influence on clients is very important and I realized that they influenced me more then ever! Their support and encouragement was unending! And the experience my mom went through made me a better mom! She showed the true human spirit of determination and motivation!
Suddenly, it was the “big red truck”! Once you know someone who owns one they are everywhere! After Breast Cancer hit so close to home, I was talking to women or hearing stories of survivors almost daily! The shock of how many women have experienced it actually hit home. Illness and disease took on an entirely different meaning to me and prevention became even more important.
Reclaiming your health after a serious diagnosis can be a challenge but there is overwhelming evidence that exercise can help. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer survivors, in a recent survey of more than 114,000 Canadian adults, fewer than 22% were physically active. (Courneya, Katzmarzyk & Bacon 2008).
Most of the time things do not phase us if we feel we are healthy! It’s when a situation arises that compromises our health that makes us think twice of our choices. Or, drives us to investigate further into ways of making things better! Start to open pathways now of increased knowledge in as many areas of health & fitness as possible.
How can it be so easy for some people to workout on a regular basis and impossible for others to even start? We are coming upon the busiest time of the year for people to start and quit a fitness program. Figure out your true motivation behind fitness? Reasons that will help you enjoy fitness and life every step of the way! Only you have the power to change! All of this brings up amazing stories. Uplifting and motivating stories that prove a healthy body is the answer to a healthy life! Stories that encourage and make you say “wow, I can make a change”! What a great opportunity to share their story and help others achieve what they keep reaching for. Fitness should not be tedious or boring. It should be an invigorating challenge, a fun experience and one you should be proud of!
Can exercise save someone’s life? I truly believe it can for it saved mine. Three years ago I was diagnosed with late stages heart failure and required a heart transplant. Up to the point of my diagnosis I have always been very active, fit and healthy. I have lived a lifestyle that always promoted fitness and healthy clean eating. I know that being as fit and healthy before my transplant has had a great deal to do with my amazing quick recovery. At times Doctors told me there was no way I should be able to do the things I was doing just before my operation and were awed by my ability to return to work as a firefighter, some even told me I would never return to active duties. Two weeks after my operation I was once again back at the gym using fitness to help me return to where I once was.
Today more than ever I know that being active and fit whatever level you strive to achieve can help not only physically but mentally as well. Keep positive, push through the hard trying times and the results will be more than worth it. It may even save your life one day.
It took me a long time to find the motivation to exercise and now can’t imagine my life today without it. I personally can attribute my fitness to helping me deal with my depression. After starting a fitness program, I decided to stop taking my antidepressants (that I had been on for seven years). Three years later, I am still off of the medication, and I know that in order to stay healthy I MUST make fitness a way of life. I am thankful for the friends I have met along the way that encourage and support.
Fitness is important to me because at 50 I was seriously thinking of quitting showing horses competitively as my lack of power and stamina was seriously affecting my riding. I found a fitness program that I fell in love with and now at 54 I feel better than I have in years. I have lots of energy to go all day and the power and stamina needed to show a cutting horse at the international level in which I wish to compete.
For me it was finding myself after having kids. I’ve set up my exercise routine around women who I can vent, laugh, cry, or whatever else emotion comes up. This bond has become so strong, not exercising isn’t an option. It is too easy to loose yourself in the family life, which I feel just makes us angry and tired.
Fitness and athletics have always been a part of my life. However, it wasn’t until I had three children within four years, and hired a personal trainer that I realized how little I truly understood about nutrition and fitness, how much I took my body for granted in my twenties, and how I wasn’t pushing myself to my full potential. Between my second and third child I built a strong base and was in good shape, therefore my third pregnancy was far less painful and uncomfortable. I feel, and I write this 8 weeks post-partum, that I look my best after this birth, being my third, than I did with my other two babies. It also makes a huge difference in dealing with the stresses of motherhood.
Verna, my mom!
Your health is the most important thing in your life, something you should never take for granted like I did. Just because you don’t feel sick, it doesn’t mean that “something” isn’t going on inside your body you don’t know about. Being diagnosed with breast cancer and having to go through surgery and the horrible chemo journey made me realize this and also realize how important it is to take care of yourself. Something as simple as eating healthy and exercise can and does make a big difference and something we can all do.
In closing, I also think of my father-in-law who is 79 and still playing hockey! This proves that age is just a number! Remember, only you have the power to change. Make 2010 your best year ever!