Friday, April 12, 2013

Get Up & Get Out!

Forget about your New Year's resolutions, they probably crumbled by Valentine's Day. Think spring. There should be vernal equinox resolutions, because spring is the time to get out and about. You are not fighting a blizzard, slip sliding away to get to you where you want to go. You are not sweating under the summer sun being reduced to a puddle after five minutes of exercise. The January crowds are gone from the gym and the running paths aren't rush hour congested. The parks are empty and the clothes are cute.

Now is the time to move. Eating greens & beans will only get you so far. To be healthy you have to move. Get your body in gear. Here is what no one will tell you about diet & exercise: they reinforce each other! After an early morning walk, it is easier to forego the doughnut that will spike your blood sugar at nine and crash you at eleven. After a week of good, healthy eating, you will find yourself pricing sports bras. (And if you fellows need a sports bra, brah, then you should have started eating healthy a wee bit earlier.) As your energy increases, you will need exercise to release it.

But what do you do? You've tried exercise and hated it. I say do what you enjoy. Walking? Biking? Gym work? Tennis? It doesn't matter. Do it if you like it. Like the rule that says eat it only if it tastes good, the corollary is choose an exercise that you like. You don't have to swear to get up at 4:45AM to be out of the house by 5AM to get a three mile walk in before work (although, having done that, it is really cool - drink one glass of water before you begin). Instead just tell someone else to do the dinner dishes and begin with an evening walk around the block. You don't' have to jog, but you can walk.

This week just plan it out. Is your gym membership still active? Is there one piece of equipment that you've always been curious about? How does that elliptical thingy work? If you like it, cool. If you don't, just move on. Promise yourself 15 minutes, then you can go home. Just enough to decide if you need a Stairmaster or will the stairs at work do.

Did you play tennis in high school? Where is your tennis racquet? Where is the nearest tennis court? What jazz dance does the park district offer? Do your bike tires need air? Driving home tonight, can you use your odometer to plot out a three mile course - that is one league, about three miles or what you can walk in an hour - a mile and a half out and a mile and a half back. Half a league, half a league onward!

Do you like birding? Bring a pair of binoculars. If you are a suburbanite, just walking makes you suspicious you might a well add binoculars.

I am not asking you to change your life, I am saying that you should do one thing this week that you will enjoy. That might just change your life. See you out on the bike path!

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