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Exercising Values

Happy, Healthy, Kind, & Considerate Kids

Conquer Stress with Planned Rest, Recreation, and Companionship

children family life goals habits inspiration marriage mental health nutrition selfcare time management working moms Oct 01, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci is credited with saying, "Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer." It's the weekend and a genius has just given you permission to goof off a little bit. Our minds and bodies need rest to perform at their best. Set aside the frenzy and the urgency of countless unfinished tasks and in the end you will have more focused energy to get it all done.

I was recently fortunate enough to spend a week in Spain and I was drawn to the festive approach to life that I observed. Restaurant meals  had the feel of a big family reunion with people obviously pleased to see each other. Perhaps this weekend we should make it a point to light up when we see our loved ones and to create a festive atmosphere of our own.

Healthy eating, exercise, and reducing stress help us to be more productive.We need to increase our inner resources so we will have the energy and perspective to handle the inevitable stress that confronts us. Deepening our relationships and taking time for solitude and reflection will help us sort through what is really important and what is sapping our energy and wasting our time. By slowing down to recharge you will accomplish more in the end.

Planned rest will keep you from feeling like a victim of the demands in your life. The more you are trying to accomplish, the more essential times of rest and reflection become. Rest is not a sign of weakness; it is the hallmark of a balanced life. Come apart before you come apart. Refresh yourself through sleep,recreation, and companionship.

A vital part of the Exercising Values weekly program is a day of rest. Getting behind on sleep has serious consequences including:

1. Increased appetite and associated weight gain.

Do I really need a number two? Here it is anyway:

2. Impaired motor function and reaction time as well as delayed visual and auditory reaction time. If you drive your kids, enough said.

3. Impaired ability to replace the glycogen in your muscles leading to earlier fatigue in subsequent workouts.

4. Reduced cardiovascular performance.

5. Increased perceived exertion during workouts or strenuous routine activities.

6. Reduced motivation and impaired mood.

7. Reduced short-term memory.

Too much exercise is just as bad as not enough. It's sad but true that someone coming in to all the classes and spending 2 hours a day in the gym 6 or 7 days a week may see little results for all their efforts if they neglect sleep and recovery. Overtraining produces stress hormones, like cortisol that  can cause a person not only to hold on to existing fat but also to produce more fat. Over doing work and neglecting rest will not be rewarded. A balanced approach that recognizes the body needs time to repair will yield better results. I don't know if all work and no play makes Jack dull but it certainly won't make him lean.

Enjoy your weekend. Spend time with those you love. Monday you'll be better at the responsibilities that will wait for you. Let your worries go and have some fun with your family and friends. Leonardo had it right...come Monday you'll make better decisions because you gave yourself the gift of some discretionary time. Stay at home moms may not feel like their work week ends on the weekend if ever but it is very important that they also take some time to recharge, to invest in their marriage, and to spend quality time with their children.

Someone who spends most of their time caring for others also needs to listen to their own heart as well. When lots of people need your attention it can be overwhelming. That's why you need to find a few moments of silence to re-charge. Each day, try to find just a few moments of solitude, even if it is only just before sleep tonight. In those moments you can sort through your priorities and when you do include prioritizing rest, recreation, and the companionship of those you love.

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About the Author

Pamela Davenport


For decades I have helped countless parents and their children overcome significant obstacles. My unique accomplishments in the fields of child development, health, and fitness have given me an unparalleled perspective and expertise that I would love to share with you.

  • Award-Winning Author and Parenting Coach
  • Mother of six and grandmother of five
  • Studied Juvenile Justice at Stanford University
  • Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Experienced family counselor
  • Support group leader for struggling parents
  • Taught health at the university level
  • Program manager for the personal training programs at two colleges
  • Personal Trainer helping people lose 5lb-100lb+
  • Two-time Ironman Triathlete and competing member of team USA
  •  UMB Lifetime Sportswoman Award 2017