“Training for life” – that’s the recurring calendar notice for Laurie Oliver, senior ethics manager at Unum in Portland. It reminds her to get up and get active every day.
Though sometimes she lacks motivation, her goal to feel good – both now and in years to come – keeps this mother of two living a healthy lifestyle.
“At first I wanted to look a certain way. But that soon evolved into wanting to feel well inside and out,” she said about her commitment to physical activity starting in high school. Her mindset shifted as she realized her mental health was positively impacted by her activity. “I found out that if I didn’t fit in a 30-minute run or a set of chest presses, I was a bit grumpy and didn’t have as much energy. I’m a much better mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend when I incorporate exercise into my day.”
Her “get after it” attitude carried over into her family-life– setting a good example for her daughters and accomplishing new goals with her husband. The couple is already half-way through their goal of hiking all 4,000-foot mountain ranges in New England (67 total). And they’ve made some fun friends along the way.
“Once we met Victor ‘Pappy’ Kubilius, an 87-year-old who was hiking the Appalachian Trail for the second time,” Laurie said. “He was trying to reclaim his title for the oldest thru-hiker.”
While it may seem easy now, Laurie’s routine has changed over the course of time. She has adjusted her diet to incorporate plant-based foods, tried various forms of exercise – from triathlons to hiking – and recently added meditation to her routine.
She encourages others to find something that brings them joy as they train for life. “Discover what works for you! Don’t be afraid to try new things,” said Laurie, who craves time in the woods, on a mountain or near a stream.
“Find something that gets you moving, makes you smile, gets your heart pumping – walking, running, biking, hiking, rowing, or dancing. Most importantly, find something that clears your head.”
Your “training for life” will likely look different than your acquaintances, but it’s never too late to start.
Need more inspiration? Use these helpful tips to help you get started:
- Food for thought to keep you eating healthy
- Balance out your workout routine
- Learn the basics of stretching
- Powerful techniques for setting goals