Recently I had my NHS Healthy Heart check because, since I last wrote on here, I turned 40! I know, I know, I look too young. I am pleased to say that despite worrying that my waist was too big and the numbers on the scales too high, I passed with flying colours. In fact I was in the top 1% of healthy folk in my postcode!!! (Actually, I share my postcode with some of the unhealthiest people in the country which maybe changes the perspective a little. Whatever, I’m still very pleased.) In recent months my health, fitness and well being has travelled a massive roller coaster. From the healthiest I have ever been to celebrate my birthday followed by a spring and summer of parties, weekends away, weddings and holidays. Finally resting in another rut thanks to a new diagnosis of arthritic big toes and a sober tumble after a family party smashing my knee cap. It’s all left me in a “where to go next” quandary. Well, inspired by my healthy innards, I feel like I need to consolidate the knowledge that I have gathered in the pursuit of health and focus in on the prioritise that hopefully will keep me going for at least another 40 years.
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.
From the inside of my head down to my arthritic toes, every ache, pain and leaky bit require daily or weekly maintenance and management to keep me in the best position I can be.
Daily mindfulness for my brain helps me balance (as best I can) my turbulent mental health. A strong core through regular weight and resistance training provides stability to my neck, back, hips, knees and ankles. Otherwise the instability of my flat left foot causes all sorts of problems. My arthritic big toes need twice daily resistance work to keep the joints lubricated to slow the degeneration.
My battered pelvic floor thanks to three pregnancies takes maintenance too. Brought home to me following a standard cervical screening which resulted in a 6 month search for my cervix. (I kid you not). Three times daily I should pause to squeeze!!! Add to this the need for increased moisturising because my skin is drying out as I get older. Drink more water, eat healthy, keep your monkeys fed, watered and alive, work three days a week, keep a well ordered home and marriage. Blah, blah, blah. My goodness I’m exhausted!!! No wonder I have given up and gratefully welcomes an unhealthy rut.
Do I religiously do all of these things?
NO!!! In fact. HELL NO!!! Why? Because it is exhausting! It takes a lot of mental will power and I have a home full of time snatching monkeys. So what is the answer?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is simplicity. Keep it all simple. I could achieve great things with all the time and resources in the world. Truth is I have limited supplies of both. So often focusing on good health feels like it has to be at the detriment of all over things. The holy grail is the daily dose of wellbeing that fits comfortably around everything else. Is this an actual thing? Could I have some please?
To achieve this I did two things in 2018. I bought a dog and a Garmin. I know I once said I would never have a fitness tracker. However, the overwhelming nature of our technological now almost dictates that in order to achieve harmony we must embrace a small amount of what we do not fully understand. Enter my Garmin combined with Mr Jack Squish who forces me out of bed and out into the fresh air for at least 30 minutes a day. From this foundation I intend to find my health balance.
Not a New Years Resolution
This wasn’t meant to be a New Years Eve post but it took me a while to write it. But I guess any time is a good time. My body needs life long maintenance not just January fads. The information and skills I have are not new, they are just a bit more finely tuned. I’ve been in this rut before and by 31st January I will be back to my usual rut. Half a stone lighter and still half a stone from where I want to be. Maybe that is just where I should be with my healthy heart. Who knows.
One thing I know for sure is I miss running. If I achieve one thing in 2019 I want to re-establish a running routine. All of the maintenance will be worth it for a few regular runs. I’ll keep you posted on that front.
Ok 2019, let’s do this!