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Embracing exercise is not just a routine task or another item on my daily to-do list; it's a celebration of what my body can do, a testament to my strength and resilience, and a fun, engaging way to stay active and prepared, as a proper fiber journalist ought to be.

Looking back on my past, I realize that I wasn't always an active child with a burning passion for physical activity. In fact, quite the opposite was true. As an introvert, I found solace in quieter activities. I preferred spending my free time engrossed in a book, letting my imagination run wild, or in front of the TV, occasionally indulging in my favorite shows.

Sensing my inclination towards more sedentary pursuits, my mother, with her wisdom and foresight, enrolled me in sports activities. I distinctly remember attending a sports summer school, where I was gently nudged towards incorporating regular physical activity into my life.

This exposure wasn't just a fleeting phase in my life; it blossomed into a real, enduring passion that I still carry with me. I became part of a baseball and softball team within the Japanese Brazilian community. This experience played a pivotal role in my life right up until my college years (though my college team was a letdown, a memory that always brings a smile to my face).

The journey continued during my graduate school years when I discovered the thrill of running and experienced the fabled "runner's high." However, an injury from overtraining forced me to explore other options, leading me to the world of weightlifting, a realm I approached with skepticism and trepidation.

At first, lifting heavy weights seemed daunting and monotonous. As someone who thrived in the great outdoors, the idea of spending hours in a closed space brimming with heavy equipment seemed overrated. But the desire to return to running, to feel the wind against my face, propelled me to strengthen my muscles, so I persisted with that goal in mind.

woman lifting weights wearing black leggings, black and grey sports bra and white sneakers

Over time, I discovered the euphoria that exercise can bring, the surge of endorphins it releases, and the sense of accomplishment it instills. Much to my surprise, I found myself genuinely enjoying the process of weightlifting after two months as I watched my body evolve into a stronger, more capable version of itself.

Today, exercise is a non-negotiable part of my life, as crucial to my well-being as quality sleep, nutritious food (with an occasional indulgence in sweets, of course), and the calming practice of knitting.

I encourage you, too, to give exercise a try, but without any undue pressure on yourself. Take a leisurely walk, introduce yourself to a new sport, or set a personal record. Whether embarking on a new hiking trail, mastering a complex yoga pose, or taking a refreshing walk through the park, the satisfaction and positive health benefits are truly priceless.

Exercise is not just a form of self-care; it's an investment in your long-term well-being and mental health. Regular physical activity can naturally elevate our moods, leading to a surge in positivity and high energy levels and fostering a more optimistic outlook on our often hectic daily lives.

Physical activity keeps me motivated and reassures me that, regardless of how the day unfolds, it has the potential to be a good one.

I invite you to join me in taking that first step, challenging yourself, and reveling in the journey of self-discovery. I promise you will not regret trying!


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