Why I treat my body like a temple

By Nina Steele 

One of the first things on my mind back then when we were still trying to become parents, was how to get back in shape after giving birth. Like I said in an article about our love for hiking, I like to plan well in advance. One of my key priorities was how to lose any belly fat as a result of the pregnancy.

In the Ivory Coast, where I am originally from, women use a piece of cloth as a tummy tightening belt, after giving birth. They wear it really tight (I don’t know how some of them manage to breath, to be honest). And it works. After 7 children, my mother’s belly is as flat as it can get. It was the same for most of the women I knew growing up. I was going to substitute the piece of cloth for one of those wide elastic belts, and bought one soon after we made the decision to start trying. I ended up never needing it of course.

Exercising daily has been a part of my life for well over a decade. I used to have a gym membership, but like many people, I ended up paying my fees, but never bothering to go. At the end, I realised that you don’t need the gym in order to be fit. You can do so right in your own home, or use nature as mentioned in my article about hiking.

Until recently, I had the same routine. I would start with stretches, followed by 20 crunches and then spend 10 to 15 minutes on my exercise bike. I used to lift weight every day as well, but only do so once a week now, as I am happy with my arms as they are. Lifting weight once a week, ensures that they stay in shape.

Another way in which my routine has changed recently is that, instead of always getting on my exercise bike, I now mix it with going up and down the stairs (we have 26 steps in the house), for up to 20 times. Not all at once, but rather, in stages. I go up and down 10 times at first and then split the rest into 2 chunks.

I believe that like everything else in life, you get back what you put in. I cannot go a day without having done some form of exercise, my body just doesn’t feel right. Even if for whatever reasons (not very often, thankfully) I cannot do my full routine, at least I stretch and do my crunches.

One thing you notice when you work with the elderly as I did for 8 years, is how many people have poor health. According to Age UK, 40% of people aged 65 and over suffer from a ‘limiting longstanding illness’.

Yes it is true that you can tick all the boxes by eating well and doing regular exercise throughout your life, and still end up with poor health in old age. However, by looking after your body most of your life, you are more likely to be healthy in old age, than someone who never bothered to look after theirs.

Nina Steele

Speak Your Mind

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap