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Be Like the Tortoise

Last summer, my husband and I took a trip to the Azores, Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic. I've heard them described as a cross between Hawaii and Iceland, which is funny to me, since those two places are literally on opposite sides of the planet. But the Azores are volcanic, and temperate, so you do see a lot of tropical plants. We did a fair amount of hiking and, since I told you last summer that you should exercise while on vacation, I put my money where my mouth is and took resistance bands with me on the trip. We were gone 2 weeks and I used them 4 times. Even though we hiked almost every day, I wanted to make sure I got in some upper body work. The workouts were short, but it was something.

On the way home, I realized I was sick. After 2 1/2 years of avoiding COVID, I found it was upon me. I couldn’t do much of anything for several days, but as soon as I started feeling better I was itching to get back to exercising. I did one workout, without any weights, and was sore for 4 days. I had tried to do too much, too soon. Between being on vacation and not doing my normal routine, and then being sick, I was nowhere near my previous level of fitness. So when I tried again, I took it even easier. Gradually I built back up. It took more than a month to feel “normal” again!

Being in good shape allows some leeway for taking time off to enjoy a vacation as well as during the unforeseen down-times like being sick. As I told you last summer, just two days of inactivity can result in muscle loss. So, build up that muscle mass. But, if you’ve been out of an exercise routine for a while, build up slowly. It can be frustrating to not be able to do what you used to do, but persevere! Do what you can; do a little bit more the next time. Be consistent and you will get there! "Slow and steady wins the race."

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