Ok, so let’s talk about exercise for little bit… Not the crazy weightlifting, scary marathon exercise but something much simpler. As cold as it has been in most of the country, it’s harder and harder to find motivation to get off the couch. What to do? You learned to do it during your first year or two in life, and for the vast majority of us, we have our parents to thank for diligently teaching us until we mastered it…
Up on two legs, homo-erectus, all by ourselves, fully separated from the animal kingdom.
Turns out it was no small achievement. We thought we were set for life. No one forgets how, but those afflicted with the “Sitting Disease” can often forget TO do it. Keep in mind, being sedentary for too long has dire consequences. High blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes and a whole host of nasty ailments should be enough to scare multitudes into getting off the couch and on their feet.
Couch Potatoes Unite — Any doctor will tell you this is serious stuff!
There are two ways back from the sedentary abyss… Door #1, the hard way — the dreaded soul searching through the seven stages of grief, or Door #2, the easy way — whether its Nike’s Just do it! or Hoffman‘s Midnight Cowboy – “I’m Walking Here!.”
OK, if you have somehow chosen the first door because “Woe is Me” is your mantra while problem solving, let’s walk it through — keep in mind, it’s not too late to skip to Door #2 if you are already set to join the walkathon!
Stage 1 – Denial
The daily recommended allowance is 10,000 steps per day. Not sure if you do at least half that?
Stage 2 – Pain and Guilt
Maybe your doctor has told you to make some changes or else, or you got winded doing yard work, or the last time lifting heavy things was a complete disaster.
Stage 3 – Anger and Bargaining
What happened to that peppy person full of enthusiasm that used to stare back at me in the mirror?
Stage 4 – Depression
Oh, the shame. When did putting one foot in front of the other become such a challenge?
Stage 5 – The Upward Turn
Turn off the TV, computer, and stop texting for awhile (texting and walking is not nearly as dangerous as texting and driving, but just to be sure to enjoy and focus on the experience, put the phone away).
Stage 6 – Working it Through
Did I really not have any time for the most basic of physical activity?
Stage 7 – Acceptance
Eureka! Door #2 here at least.
Before you set out, a few well-known pointers to keep in mind. Hydrate both before and during, as needed. Wear comfortable clothing, especially footwear. Find your ideal space – neighborhood, park, beach, shopping mall – and take advantage of some refection time.
Like forming any good habit, start slow and develop some stamina for distance and frequency. Keep it light, keep it fun and remember to keep at it! Eventually you could transition to running! Too soon?