All of my fitness coaching clients are midlife women.
Most come to me for help with exercise and eating. Wanting to know how to make the best use of their workout time and how to best fuel their bodies to support their midlife health and fitness goals.
Many are surprised that, in addition to providing individualized exercise plans and tools for improving nutrition, I also focus on less obvious aspects of wellness, including sleep, stress and self-care.
Our bi-weekly coaching calls are just as likely to include discussions about non-exercise activities, (including mind-body practices, hobbies and preventative health practices) as they are strength training PR’s and dietary macros.
In my experience, it’s these self-care activities that many midlife women tend to be missing.
Activities that can enhance the benefits of the exercise and eating habits they’re working to improve.
Most often it’s because they’re busy. Juggling work, children’s schedules, aging parents and household chores. Just fitting in their weekly menu planning, food prep and workouts is challenging enough.
Sometimes, though, it’s also because they view self-care as being ‘selfish’. As if by taking time out of their schedule to meditate, practice yoga, knit, read a book, bake bread, paint or go for a massage means that they’re less committed to their husband, children and job.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
By making time for activities that require you to slow down, connect with your creative side and be mindful and present you reduce the production of stress hormones. Hormones that contribute to midlife-middle-of-the-body weight gain even when you exercise consistently and pay attention to nutrition.
Plus, regular self-care makes you a nicer person to spend time with 😉
Just like exercise, we don’t find time for self-care, we make time.
This week I challenge you to find 10 minutes in your day for a non-exercise activity that both calms and energizes you.
Perhaps it’s something you enjoyed doing as a child. Or something you stopped doing when you had children, thinking you’d get back to it when they were grown and your time was your own, once again.
If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner doing ‘yoga with two needles’…
Are you guilty of feeling guilty when you take time for self-care?
What’s your favourite self-care activity?