Taking A Little Respite…

I’m an incredibly long way from what I would consider to be lazy. Between my continued efforts towards fitness, Diabetes control and giving my maximum in everything I do, I very rarely sit still. The fact I have difficulty sitting still in general tends to help, as well… But once in a while, even the most dedicated person needs to take a step back and throttle back on life and take a rest. And mental exhaustion being a very real thing, it can lend a heavy impact on one’s motivation.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself skipping karate classes and performed personal workouts a lot less than usual. I’ve had the pleasure of throwing a couple of quick, 10-kilometre bike rides into the mix, which was nice. But with the warmer weather coming along, the opportunity for different and increased number of workouts is becoming a thing. The recent heavy snows we’ve had in Regina notwithstanding, of course. But a severe lack of motivation has unfortunately thrown a monkey wrench in my otherwise rusty gears.

I’m a big advocate of pushing oneself, and of making an effort to workout, even when you don’t feel like it. Given the nature of Diabetes and the effects it has on a person’s body, it’s no surprise that there are days where either the body or the mind simply don’t want to put in the effort. I had both my body AND my mind gang up on me in recent weeks when I’ve skipped the majority of my workouts. Even while acknowledging that I should have been doing something, I just didn’t want to. To use the vernacular of today’s younger generation, I can’t even…

And you know what? That’s okay. Even if it may feel like you’re being lazy, stepping back and taking a break from your fitness habits can have a lot of benefits. Yes, yes, I know… The benefits of doing SOMETHING definitely outweigh doing NOTHING. But here are some quick benefits that I’ve noticed, whenever I’ve taken a break:

  • You Can Relax: I think we can all agree that being “switched on” all the time can take a toll. There is such a thing as over-training, and it’s important to recognize that point. Taking a break week can let your body fully recuperate and allow you to relax a bit and maybe focus on other interests, such as reading or playing with your kids;
  • You Can Regroup: Honestly, there’s something to be said for having the time to just sit back and contemplate things. Whether you want to take the time to meditate, focus on work or even come up with some new workouts, taking a break can allow you the time to figure it out. Personally, I get bored of doing the same workout over and over and I like to design new circuits and try new things. Otherwise, I feel my fitness is becoming stagnant;
  • You Can Heal: Constantly working out can be taxing on the human body, and even more so when you’ve reached my age. Even though you can continue to work out with mild injuries (with limitations), it can be nice to allow some extra time for the systems on your body to reset themselves and for any outstanding injury to heal completely.

Given the particular life changes and adjustments tat have taken place within my household in the past week, it’s no surprise that I continue to be exhausted. Like many people, I’ve spent the last little while hibernating at home while COVID-19 has marinated on the outside. The result of this has been that waking at 5 in the morning every day is no longer something I’m used to. I’m slowly getting adjusted o it, now. But I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been sneaking off to bed as soon as my wife and I get the kids down. Surprisingly, my blood sugars have fared quite well during all of this. I think that can be attributed to routine, since I eat my meals at pre-planned times and don’t snack or eat outside of those times.

As one always does, I’ll adjust. I usually find that taking a “lazy week” once in a while will allow me to reap all those benefits mentioned above. The important thing to remember is not to go on some sort of junk food bender while you’re sitting around doing nothing. And I’m definitely not saying that you should do this indefinitely. Or often. Especially since a sudden change in your level of fitness and activity will play hell with even the best balanced blood sugars. But if you allow yourself the occasional break, it can even help improve your mood and energy levels for when you DO get back to it. And one always needs a little time to adjust to any new routing. Food for thought… ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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