Nov 17, 2017 1:00 PM

Author: Kim Walker, Cancer Exercise Specialist and Group Fitness Coordinator


Updated October 2018

I’m a big believer in the phrase “practice what you preach.” As a health professional, how can I help my patients live a healthy lifestyle if I don’t live a healthy lifestyle? It’s challenging to fit healthy habits as a busy working mom with three kids. Finding time for self-care can sink low down the priority list. So I am working four key areas to become better at practicing what I preach.

I Schedule Time for Exercise, Then Follow Through

Each week, I schedule my exercise on our family calendar to meet the current exercise guidelines. Exercise makes me better in all of my life roles. I feel better, act kinder, and have less stress. It’s not always easy, especially when dealing with sick kids and other unexpected obstacles. But making it a priority pays off big!

I Make a Meal Plan

If I have a meal plan, I’m less likely to eat out or skip a meal on a busy day. I shop on the weekend and follow my prepared shopping list. I also spend extra time prepping healthy snacks to have on hand. Having a planned dinner every night reduces the stress and frustration of figuring out what to make that night. It also exposes my picky eaters to different kinds of food, and it gives us time together as a family to discuss the important things in life. (Plus, I normally have enough leftovers to eat for lunch the next day—a great timesaver!)

I Try to Get Enough Sleep

This article from the National Institute of Health inspired me to make sleep a priority. When I get the sleep my body needs, my mood and attitude are greatly improved. Enough sleep lets me be a kind mother, friend, spouse, teacher, trainer, and health professional.

I Take Time for Mindfulness and Meditation

Starting the day off by meditating allows time for my mind to be silent and for me to connect with the things that matter most in my life. I think of it as my time for self-awareness—a time to rejuvenate and connect to my center. I find that mindfulness makes me less bothered by the little things. This is particularly important in my parenting role, where my patience is often tested!

I know that practicing what I preach will always be challenging, just like it is for anyone working to have healthy habits. But for me, these healthy habits are a good foundation for the storms of life.

Fitness Classes at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Physical activity is an important part of cancer recovery. It can help manage many common cancer-related symptoms and side effects:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase strength and endurance
  • Improve mood and self-esteem
  • Increase quality of life and independence

Huntsman Cancer Institute has free classes and activities for patients and caregivers.


Kim Walker, Cancer Exercise Specialist and Group Fitness Coordinator

Huntsman Cancer Institute
wellness.center@hci.utah.edu

cancer prevention wellness center

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