The 12 Gifts of Fitness, 2015 edition: Day 1 – ENERGY

Editor’s note: Exactly one year ago today, I began writing a daily blog series called “The 12 Gifts of Fitness.” Unbeknownst to Every48 readers, I was also fighting unbelievable fatigue associated with first-trimester pregnancy. (Fun fact: I was so exhausted during December 2014 that I think the sofa in our living room has a permanent indentation from where I regularly took multiple two-hour naps per day. It was that hard.) Anyway. Here we are in December 2015, Baby Bear is a happy and healthy little guy, and Mommy is getting herself back into shape. It’s time to revisit the 12 Gifts of Fitness—and to get all 12 of ’em down this time around. Enjoy the reposts from last year (which will be daily) while I cook up the rest of the list. By December 25, you’ll have the full list in hand—a great way to get motivated to get out there and get after it in 2016. Thank you as always for your support of Every48. ~ Nicole

The 12 Gifts of Fitness

[Originally published Monday, December 15, 2014]

With only thirteen weekdays left in 2014 (where did the time go???), it’s time to start looking at the big picture. Or pictures, as the case may be.

Big picture? Big pictures? At the end of a year, looking back at what went well helps us plan out what the next year could bring. This year, fitness brought a lot of good things. (Image courtesy of chayathonwong2000 at
Big picture? Big pictures? At the end of a year, looking back at what went well helps us plan out what the next year could bring. This year, fitness brought a lot of good things. Time to reflect on them over the next 12 days. (Image courtesy of chayathonwong2000 at

This blog got its start in January 2014 as a commitment from me to exercise at least once every 48 hours. There have been a few hiccups along the way: injuries here and there, trips, and such things—but generally speaking, the year has been a good one.

Over the next 12 of those 13 weekdays before we ring in 2015, I’ll be thinking a little more deeply about the true gifts of fitness. I’d love your thoughts, too, on what living a health-centered life has meant to you in 2014. Each day, I’ll feature one of the “12 Gifts of Fitness” that this year has brought. Maybe you’ll completely relate…or maybe you’ll have totally different “big-picture” experiences. Health is an incredibly personal thing: some of us thrive in certain situations and not others. There are many different ways to eat healthfully and to live healthfully; it’s not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon.

So, on Day 1 of the 12 Gifts of Fitness, I bring you…ENERGY.

That’s right. Energy. It’s 100% true (well, 99%…there was that gym incident last week where I was wickedly tired even after getting myself on the exercise bike and just had to punt and do an easier workout). Exercise just about always makes us feel better after we’ve done it. It really does.

My overall energy level in 2015 was better than it’s ever been before. Sleep gets easier, my mind gets clearer, priorities make themselves more obvious, and it becomes much, much easier to make other healthy choices throughout the day, too. I’m peppier, I think more positively, and I get more done.

Especially when that workout gets done between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. (See above for the note on how personal all of this health and fitness stuff is; if you’re not a morning person, don’t go thinking you have to do what I try to do just “because.” That schedule just happens to fit my life and my energy level.)

And you know the funny part? The exact opposite thing happens when I don’t work out regularly. I get tired more easily. Crabby, one might even suggest. I look at the world more dismally. It’s harder to “get going” in the morning. And woe is me on the days when I don’t get that early workout in and spend the whole day thinking it’s something I’ve gotta get done…and then I’m too tired (see? not enough energy!) to do it later in the day.

So on this Monday morning, I’m thankful for the first gift of fitness: Energy. Try out a workout today and see if your energy level surges too. And have a badass workout, even if you start it draggin’. It just about always works out well in the end.

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