Strong like an Amazon: Exercise as self-care

Fran, Registered Nurse
Embracing the unconventional helped Fran find an exercise that challenged her to thrive.

I didn’t think I would enjoy exercise.

I had worked in a relatively physical job, nursing, and never consciously sought to exercise. I was sceptical of its benefits until I experienced them: better sleep, more energy, stress relief and weight maintenance/loss. There are a host of other physiological benefits, but those ones are the most rewarding for me.

I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of joining a gym, so I promised myself I would walk consistently to either better my time over the distance or increase the distance I walked. I still walk because it is now something I enjoy especially on a day off. I walk dogs, spend time with family and friends and enjoy being outdoors.

I developed an interest in joining a group activity. A friend said I should join a boxing class she attended. She sold it really well: wear what you like, with a group of about 10 women aged 50+, working out for an hour from 7.00 pm on a weekday night. For some of us in the group who work a rotating roster or have evening work commitments, the fixed night makes it impossible to be there every week, but it’s easy to catch up if you miss a session.

Boxing is great cardiovascular exercise, utilizing muscles you didn’t know existed! It also improves your hand-eye coordination, destresses you and builds muscle. I am not a natural pugilist, I am not violent and we do not spar. I do like the feeling of being an Amazon, a physically capable strong being with enhanced balance, strong bones and awesome core.

So I guess the moral of the story is: explore the types of exercise that might suit you, and be open to the unusual or unconventional!