New Year’s Day has come and gone with its
resolutions that either change your life or will disappear with the
turning of the calendar page to February.
Our office staff decided that February would be a
good time to make a change. Our disgust with food habits over the
holidays, lack of exercise because of bad weather, and excuses, such as
no programs in our county, is at a peak now.
Seventy percent of Americans do not have a fitness
program, 16 percent, or 47 million, do not have insurance, and those who
do may find their benefits are reduced. Whatever we read about most
health problems always has the line, “exercise daily.”
Are you one of many out there who know you should
be exercising, but you aren’t sure where to begin? Do the tools of
fitness--exercise bikes, nautilus machines, treadmills, exercise balls
and free weights--intimidate you? Maybe you find exercise boring? If any
of the above applies to you, you are not alone. Although many people are
aware of the importance of physical fitness, seventy percent do not
exercise on a regular basis. They are usually disappointed by the lack
of immediate results.
If you are finding it hard to get moving, a
reminder of the benefits should spur you to action. Regular physical
activity, in addition to making you look and feel good, lowers your risk
for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart
disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. In
fact, exercise and strength training can help you look and feel younger.
Miriam Nelson, a scientist and specialist in aging
at Tufts University, said, “Biologically, we can reverse the aging
process by 15 to 25 years. We can do that by becoming stronger.”
Exercise can also help you maintain your mobility and independence.
Regular activity helps keep bones and muscles strong and promotes good
balance. In addition, it combats frailty.
One of the most common reasons people do not
exercise is because they think of exercise as a chore, rather than an
enjoyable pastime. Recognize that regular physical activity can provide
more than just physical benefits. Feeling involved, connected and
passionate about things will also help you live a longer and healthier
life. You are more likely to make a commitment to good fitness if you
shift your focus and decide to do things that you enjoy.
You may ask, “What are you (Helen) going to do
about it?” I was planning to make a change, “sometime,” but that turned
into “today” after I overheard a conversation at the Realty office.
Sally and Angie were discussing the benefits of a 20-minute walk after
the evening meal to reduce stress and have a better night’s rest.
I made the decision to start walking again that
same evening. I like walking to lively music or watching history CDs. I
also plan to start an exercise program by Feb. 15. Now, I have set two
goals. I also have my doctor’s approval! Why not join me in improving