Deborah Rankin

How to feel good and sleep well every day

It’s February. How is your fitness program going?

I ask because by February most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions, especially those involving diet and fitness.

I ask because last week at yoga while holding an extended child’s pose with what was supposed to be a clear, untroubled mind, I obsessed on a sincere question:

How do people not exercise?

How do people survive, cope, adjust, and thrive without the relaxing, euphoric, ache-relieving benefits of exercise?

Maybe some are calmer than I. Maybe they take anxiety medications or anti-depressants instead. (Did you know that in the U.K. exercise is now the first-line intervention for depression, before medication?) Maybe their lives are pleasant, smooth, and drama-free.

None of the above fit me, so I need exercise: the balm that keeps me cruising; the unction that helps me sleep.

Do you do a year-end review?

Several gurus and thought leaders suggest a year-end review of one’s personal and professional goals and accomplishments. A successful writer friend I admire calculates and reports in her blog how many words she wrote that year. Warren Buffet probably calculates his return on investment. Does Jeff Bezos know how many Amazon orders shipped? Since a year-end review seems to be a best practice I decided to share with you, dear readers, my 2016 exercise report. [Drum roll please.]

My Exercise Report

In 2016 I exercised 115 times, an average of 2.2 times per week. I downloaded this information from my state of the art data warehouse, a monthly planning notebook where I wrote down each time I exercised and highlighted it in blue ink.

Types of exercise last year were:

  • Yoga 33
  • Bicycling 30. Miles per session ranged from 10 to 41 and averaged 17
  • Treadmill 30. Two miles followed by lifting weights
  • Hiking 7
  • Kayaking 5
  • Gardening or farm work 5
  • Pilates 3
  • Swimming 2
  • Shoveling snow 1. There was a lot of snow and it wore me out, so I counted it.
  • Cleaning house 1. This is an intense exercise that makes me break a sweat. It is so difficult that I try to avoid it whenever possible.


I missed my 2016 goal of exercising three times a week. I’m not upset about that, considering other things I faced. Packing, moving, and starting a new job took a lot of time and interrupted my routine in April, May, and June. In November I broke my foot which meant I could not work out between Thanksgiving and New Years until a good friend and physical therapy assistant suggested Pilates. With modifications to avoid pressure on the broken bone, I took three Pilates classes in December.
Considering the impact of a single-handed move and a significant injury, I’m happy with my 2016 results.

Who Cares?

Possibly no one, but I want you to think about what you’re doing to exercise. If you have dropped behind your New Year’s fitness goals, don’t give up. Begin again, and enjoy the benefits of exercise. What’s not to like about feeling good, sleeping well, and having more peace and energy?

Coming Next

My next book video features the national bestseller Spark. The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. This book by John Ratey, Harvard professor of psychiatry, is quite techy. Some science or medical background is recommended before reading. Still, I’ll share passages that will inspire you to embrace exercise as a regular part of your life. There are dozens of health benefits, and I promise that at least one will be important to you.

Until then, get out there and exercise! Dr. Ratey promises to answer questions from my readers, so start thinking about what you want to ask the expert.

Until then, would you please share this with someone who wants to exercise more? Then post a comment below—how often have you worked out since the start of the year?

©2017 Booktalk Lady LLC

7 thoughts on “How to feel good and sleep well every day

  1. Good reminder Deborah. As injuries, aches and pains have piled up, it’s become increasingly harder for me to keep to a regular exercise routine. Your post encouraged me to recommit to the lifestyle.

    • Good for you Lee! You may need to modify your fitness routine to avoid further injuries but I’ve found fewer aches and pains when I exercise consistently.

  2. Very encouraging and motivational, Deb. I sprained my ankle but I’ve still been doing most of the stretches from my chiropractor, which I found out are mostly yoga poses!

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