Run run run.

Every day (well, almost every day) for 18 months, I woke up at 6:30am and had 30 minutes to exercise. I can definitely say that exercise was not accomplished about 60% of the time. I had some companions who would not get up. I had other companions who would move from the bedroom, to the couch, and then fall asleep again. I had one companion who I worked out hard with every single morning. Her dad ordered her a 12 week body sculpting program by Jillian Michaels, and we did that thing every morning for 6 weeks, no matter how exhausted we were.

As you can probably tell, every companion was different, and I was different with every companion. But what each of these experiences had in common was the realization that we came to as a companionship: the realization that we actually really needed to exercise..

Physical fitness is very important. We all know that. According to the Mayo Clinic, a very well known hospital in Minnesota, adults require at least 150 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. If we divide that up into 6 days (assuming you don’t work out on Sundays) that is 25 minutes a day.

Before I came home, I had some pretty big fitness plans. I was determined to get home and get the hot body I had always wanted. But what do you think was the first thing that stopped happening for me? It wasn’t getting up on time. I still woke up early every day. It was the exercising. I no longer had a strict schedule to follow, so I didn’t really accomplish anything. (Other than finished all 8 episodes of Stranger Things in about 2 days.)

I promised myself that as soon as I got up to college, and had a more regular routine, exercise would become a part of my life again. And I am very proud to say that it is!

My best friend Spencer is an avid runner and gym lover. He is diligent and takes very good care of his body. With lots of help and motivation from him, I am proud to say that I have been at the gym almost every morning for the past 2 weeks. I haven’t gone down a pants size or anything that noticable, but I can see a difference in my stress level. Micheal Otto, a professor of psychology at Boston University, says, “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.”

There are lots of ups and downs to post-mission life. But, a lot of the bumps in the road sure appear a lot smoother when regular exercise is mixed in.

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