When I was a kid, I thought 5 am was a mysterious time period that only Santa Claus and my parents existed inside of. I can tell you from first-hand experience, however, that as I dragged myself out of bed Thursday morning at 5 am to head to the gym, this time period does exist.
So what might possess a person to get up at this absurd hour and go- gasp- exercise? Well, for me, it's a few reasons, including the fact that I have spent the last 6 years of my life on dialysis or more recently, recovering from a kidney transplant. This is the first time in years I have had enough energy to be active, plus it just makes me feel good!
There's nothing mysterious about the links between exercise and depression, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, all of which are, unfortunately, incredibly common in our nation. You could find an extensive canon of information on-line, in any health magazine, or in a variety of periodicals that supports the idea that moving around regularly can make you healthy. If for some reason you want/need some type of proof, you can check out the Mayo Clinic's page on the subject. The Mayo Clinic is renown throughout our country as a health care facility that specializes in complex illnesses and diseases- in layman terms, they know their sh*t.
Sometimes, however, there can be a lot of of what seem like obstacles to keep us from either starting or sticking to a regular exercise regimen, including some very real issues like lack of funds for a gym membership, special health needs (like dialysis or wheelchairs), or flat out lack of motivation. So I've included a list of some helpful links, ideas, and sites to get help with moving your body around and get back to feeling good; not just physically, but mentally and spiritually, too.
YMCA- locations all over the Lansing area, they offer scholarships, have dirt- cheap and free classes for ALL levels and interests, have daycare, and the exercise equipment, pool, and classrooms are all handicap-accessible.
Mayo Clinic- tons of info about nutrition, men's and women's health, pregnancy and post- part-um care, recipes, and more.
Free Yoga- classes all over the city, for any level (this means beginners, too!) in any style you could ask for, taught by seasoned teachers with your safety as their priority, and experience with all types of special cases.
Lansing Parks and Rec/ E. Lansing Parks and Rec- find out about community classes and get maps and info on our beautiful, local parks, trails, and pools. Everything featured on this site is accessible.
Beal Botanical Garden- spend some time here walking, meditating, contemplating near the pond, and just taking in the beauty of flowers, trees, and more- plus it's free, and accessible.
LCC Japanese Garden- park nearby and walk to this hidden tranquil spot on LCC's campus. Watch the Coi fish, get inspired under the waterfall, and breathe the scent of roses and other perennials. It is also free and accessible.
Good Form Running- a free clinic held twice a week at Playmaker's in East Lansing, this class is aimed at helping all levels of runners run safer and more efficiently.
Community Gardens- Gardening is a fabulous way to get outside in the sun and fresh air, burn some calories, and get involved with your community while learning a lot about where your food comes from. It is essential in creating a bond between us and our sustenance. Check out my fellow blogger's page on Dig In to learn more. Most gardens are accessible, and many are free to join.
Meditation- proven to reduce stress and foster an overall sense of well-being, meditation is offered all over the Lansing area in free classes and seminars for the practiced or the curious seeker. Also free classes available at Heartdance on Michigan Ave. on Tuesday nights.