While I was in middle school and high school, I was involved in lots of athletic activities. I played softball and soccer. I was on a rowing team and joined pick-up games of basketball. I kept in shape in college by using the school’s gym, playing club soccer and going for runs. My life changed drastically once I entered the workforce. I no longer had the time to focus on my physical fitness. The stress of my job and more sedentary lifestyle gradually became a problem. I started to suffer from headaches, insomnia, stomach issues and aches and pains. I gained weight and began to feel depressed. I realized that I needed to make my health a priority. It was time to quit snacking at my desk, grabbing fast food for dinner and relying on coffee for energy. I forced myself to get up earlier in the morning to allow time to workout. The first few weeks were especially difficult. I felt exhausted and discouraged. I’d lost a great deal of strength, endurance and flexibility. It didn’t take long to notice improvement. I combined regular exercise with better eating habits. I started carrying a water bottle around with me and going to bed earlier at night. I’ve been on this better schedule for over two years. I now can’t imagine not working out before heading into the office. Getting my heart and lungs working and generating a good sweat is the best way to wake up. I take the time to thoroughly stretch and use cardio to clear my head. Because of my workouts, I am more productive at my job. I have a more positive outlook. I maintain an ideal weight and feel strong and healthy.