If you are going to start taking charge of your health I suggest you begin using the “A” word and forget about the “E” word. Do you have any idea what I am talking about? Well, I’m referring to using the the word “Active” instead of “Excercise.” I’m talking about getting physical!
One of the most important steps in taking charge of your health is to be active every day meaning to do some physical actiivty every day. This is especially true if you are in midlife or beyond and want to be healthy and happy and enjoy the rest of your life. This is also particularly important if you have been rather sedentary up until the present.
Now I’m sure you’ve all heard the advice from your doctor to get some exercise–the dreaded “E” word! Well, I know I have, and I used to cringe at that word–EXERCISE. Exercise means hard work, sweat, aches and pains, huffing and puffing, etc.–generally something unpleasant, right!? But I am here to tell you that it does not have to be that way!! Really!
For those of you who are looking to take charge of your health, DON’T start with exercise. I want you to start by being active every day! And if you have been mostly sedentary you’ll even want to start slowly. Being sedentary at midlife and beyond is dangerous. It is incompatible with living a long, happy, healthy life. So get up once or twice a day and walk. Walk for two minutes. Get off the bus one block early and walk the rest of the way to work; park at the back of the parking lot and walk to your office; walk a block for lunch; walk around for two minutes during your coffee break; take a two minute walk during TV commercials. This is being active. Don’t call it exercise. Hey, it’s not bad doing sedentary things, but balance them out with some physical activity every day. Other activities you can start doing right now (that are NOT exercise) are walking up and down stairs a couple times a day at work or at home (start with one flight); if you do walk during the day, try walking a little faster; don’t be afraid to bend over or reach for things–keeps you flexible; dance, garden, even do housework a bit brisker. Just do some activity every day or, at least, every other day!
This is another great way to take charge of your health. Don’t be ashamed of not exercising like the runners you see in the park! Be proud of being active every day! You will feel better and want to increase your activity. Walking once or twice around the block may eventually lead to longer walks at a quicker pace and before you know it you will be feeling a lot better about yourself. It CAN happen! It WILL happen!
So forget about the dreaded “E” word. You can do it! This is a start! Get up and get going. Take charge and start to feel better. And come back here often to learn more about how “A”ctive living every day can lead to lifelong vitality!!
Next time I’ll talk about GOALS and being fit! I think you’ll be surprised. I know I was! Take care and be well!