Adversity can lead to physical renewal

This year, Christmas presents the challenge of a weakened economy. New heights of unemployment often come with a loss of health benefits. This situation makes maintaining good health imperative.

A transition period can be a time for physical renewal. Taking time to begin a regular exercise regimen while searching for a new job can have many benefits:

• Improved cardiovascular fitness
• Breaking old habits of smoking, drinking alcohol and overeating
• Professional physical appearance
• Reduced need for prescription medications

These factors improve the odds of finding suitable employment. An employer who provides health benefits is taking a financial risk on the health of each employee. Good health habits count.

Getting started begins with a visit to a family physician for a complete physical. Refill any prescription medications before benefits end.

Once physical limits are defined, combine a healthy diet and a regimen that begins with stretching and walking. Aerobic and resistive workouts are most effective.
Recommended equipment includes comfortable footwear, clothing and inexpensive weights.

If weights aren’t available, exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups will improve muscle tone. Jumping rope and jumping jacks are outstanding.

As a walking regimen progresses, steep hills and stairs should be included. Thirty minutes each day is best and sticking to a regular schedule helps create a sense of discipline necessary for the competitive job market.

Volunteering at a hospital like Backus Hospital or a soup kitchen like St. Vincent de Paul will help keep an active schedule. It can provide valuable networking opportunities with fellow volunteers. Sharing time in the service of others has proven to reduce stress while creating a feeling of accomplishment.

Adversity frequently presents opportunity. Tough economic times may serve as a wake-up call. Take action by recognizing a chance to help yourself and others.

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