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Exercise is crucial all year round

This is the last Friday in October. No I am not kidding, next week we are in the month of November already, I’m not sure how everyone else is feeling, but SERIOUSLY, WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO?

This time of the year is manic and I am not going to deal with the obvious, I have chosen rather to focus on curbing that tired, deadweight feeling that you have (I have) when I wake up some mornings. The answer is 30 minutes of exercise a day…

So, let’s put it out there right from the start, I am NOT a morning person at all, in fact I am a night owl and I am quite happy to work, or better still, be caught up, enthralled in a serial killer novel into the early hours of the morning. For this reason, exercise in the morning (specifically at around 4:45, to be ready for school on time) is a no-no for me. I prefer to rather psyche myself up all day and to run or Zuma at around 17:00. It’s the best time of the day for me, the sun is slowly dipping in the sky and people are coming home from work to enjoy some family time.

I do understand that we are all different, so find an activity and time of day that best works for you. I am obviously speaking from my own experience and having participated in no exercise at all for the past 17 years (sis I know that is shocking!), I can honestly say that this year, my running has provided me with 30 minutes a day to reflect and have some introspective me-time and I feel more awake and alive than I have in a long time.

I am not the expert though, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) website lists the following as the health benefits of physical activity:

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer

This is all the proof I need, not to mention the “runner’s’ high” or “yoga bliss” that keeps people addicted to physical exercise.

According to Andy Martin, a personal trainer at the Aria Athletic Club and Spa in Vail, Colorado, there are a number of reasons people get hooked on exercise in this healthy way. “Runner’s high is an actual ‘high’ in the literal sense of the word,” explains Martin.

“During and upon completion of an intense workout — whether it be an endurance race or a high-intensity weightlifting session — endorphins flood the brain and can induce an emotional response that can range from satisfaction to euphoria, depending on the intensity of the activity.”

That is clearly what happens to me, although I must be honest, often while I am running, I am thinking, “will this ever become easier and more enjoyable?” My challenge to all of you is, try it! Even a brisk 20-minute walk can do the trick.

On a different note, this Saturday is a day of importance in the Marist World. We celebrate Montagne Day. On 28th October 1816, three months after his ordination, Marcellin Champagnat was called to the Montagne home in Les Palais, about 6 kilometres from La Valla, where 16 year- old Jean-Baptiste Montagne was dying. As Marcellin prepared to hear the confession of Jean-Baptiste, he realized that the young man had little religious or academic education. It occurred to Marcellin that Jean-Baptiste was one of many young people affected by a lack of education during and after the French Revolution. It was this incident that further inspired the young Marcellin Champagne to start a teaching Order, namely ‘The Marist Brothers’ and which has resulted in the Marist footprint in 81 countries today, educating over 654 000 children and young people.

Have a Happy Montagne Day tomorrow and good luck with the physical activity challenge!
Mrs Lara-Ann Koch
High School Deputy Principal.