Health & Fitness: Exercise, diet are more important now than ever

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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Health & Fitness by Shawn Bromeland

Shawn Bromeland


“The best thing we can do for others is take care of ourselves.”

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This whole concept seemed selfish to me as I was growing up, but all it takes is a few years to understand the depth of this statement.

Now it is going to get a bit personal. I lost my dad just this past February due to a stroke. Most of his adult life he struggled with his weight, heart problems, joint issues, etc. My heart broke as we all jumped into a car, boat or even picked out seats at our kids’ school programs. My attention was always focused on getting Dad settled without making a scene or, worse yet, him getting injured. As he aged, his mobility was a real struggle, and he dealt with that every second of every day. A big guy with a big heart for sure, but unfortunately the best of intentions never got him where he really wanted to be — comfortable in his own body.

Through this stressful, uncertain and unprecedented part of our lives, we are all out of our normal routines to a certain degree. Serenity is longed for, along with hope, peace and answers to many questions. Sometimes we just have to slow down, breathe and think about the things we can control. Exercise and diet are more important now than ever as we can control what we are putting into our bodies and feeding our minds. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental health and boost your immune system.

So, the hard part: Where do I begin? This pandemic hasn’t been easy on the waistline for many people. Start small, focus on staying active and gradually increase your activity. Be mindful of what you are eating. It takes practice! Drink plenty of water, and be aware of the inner dialogue you are developing as you start. Be kind to yourself as you set small, achievable goals.

As gym owners, we know how important creating a routine is to developing a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. We recently reopened our doors but remind people to enjoy the outdoors, breathe and be grateful for what you have.

If you’re thinking, “I wish there was something I could do to improve the situation.” There is. Start with yourself, and you won’t be sorry and neither will your loved ones!

Rest in peace, Dad.


Shawn Bromeland is co-owner of Albert Lea’s Anytime Fitness.