I am a middle-aged pencil-pusher who works nights. I’m a husband to working wife and a dad to a third grader and a two-year-old Yorkie. In the last decade I have been in my worst shape physically. But just a year ago, I made some changes and now in my mid-40s, I’m at my fittest.
Daily Fitness Routine
My secret was to incorporate exercises in what I do everyday. In the morning I had to wake up early, rising up after a few hours of sleep. I prepare a brunch bag for my wife and a light breakfast for me and my son, and of course our dog. At 8 o’clock, we walk an average of 10 minutes to my son’s school and I come back to complete a 20-minute cardio workout, jumpstarting my day.
Pet Owners Live Longer
After that, I take our dog for a spin around the block mainly to do her daily thing. This could be anywhere from a 5 to a 25-minute stroll. Back home mid-morning, I’ll catch a few winks if I don’t need to run an errand or do volunteer work. At 2:30 pm I pick up my son and do another 10-minute walk. On the way back we go the long route and do a playful version of alternate run-and-walk. At home I prepare a light snack for both of us, help him with his homework and then I prepare to go to work.
Work With What You Have
Although I am blessed to have had a lean body frame, the last ten years was just so stressful I gained pounds and inches and worse, got elevated blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. I also had pain in my lower back and in my wrists and knees. And of course my odd sleeping and eating patterns didn’t help. After accepting all these, I decided to work with what I have rather than dwell on what I don’t have.
Support From Loved Ones
My saving grace has been my faith and my family. During the dull night-shift hours when work is slow and all we do is sit and snack, I read Scriptures and devotional literature which strengthens me spiritually. During the time I spend with my wife, she encourages me to take care of my health and pushes me to do the right things. My son adds his contribution as he regularly attends martial art classes, where I sit in and observe. In my downtime, I practice my son’s martial arts moves and most afternoons and some weekends we practice together, play ball or go to the beach.
So in the one year of doing all these, I’m back to a firmer body and normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Of course I am more watchful of what I have been eating and that’s where I am right now, a healthier all-around version of myself, mind, body and spirit–the total package.