Thursday, May 14, 2009

Diet and Exercise: Who Knew?

In every year of your life, isn't there at least ten times when a doctor, a friend or maybe even your mother says something about getting more exercise? Am I right or am I right?

And we always say "Yeah, that's a good idea" and then do nothing. Or maybe start something and it fades away, for plenty of good reasons. Driving to a gym take time. Most days, I just want to sit and rest. Exercise makes you all sweaty!

This may not be a big problem when you're a youngster in your 20s, 30s or even 40s. But when you reach 50 years of age, you realize that at best you've reached the halfway point.

Your story is halfway written. Frodo has left the Fellowship; Aragorn must decide which way to go.

Your choice is simpler than that: live healthy or die a pile of blubber. And I'm here to say that, based on my experience, the "live healthy" choice is a lot more fun.

About four years ago, we noticed that our apartment complex had a free Pilates class two evenings a week. After a couple of tries, it turned out to be just right for us.
  • It was a good level of difficulty for us that produced progress over time but no injuries.
  • We didn't waste any time or energy driving to a gym
  • It was something we did together; more than exercise, it was a cheap date!
  • Any time that I wanted to skip, I was too embarassed to admit it to my wife, so I went anyway. (Years later, she admitted the same thing to me - ha!)
Over time, we've broadened our regime. A friend recommended a spinning class in a gym close enough to walk to; after a while, we noticed they had some weight training classes too. Our Pilates class changed to yoga. We tried a step class. Now, after a few years, we're exercising six days a week and are in better condition than we were a decade ago. (How can that be? Are you not supposed to deteriorate over time?) We've also made a lot of interesting friends (something you can NOT do staying at home watching TV.)

And we're never short of something to talk about: "Argh, coach really made us hurt today! I need another beer!"

Key points
  • Having an exercise partner really helps, preferably your spouse or significant other.
  • Start small, build up gradually
  • Try new programs; there's always a different way to get sweaty.
  • Start today; there's no better day!
  • Have fun!

1 comment:

Erik said...

Right there with you, brother. I only wish I'd picked up the exercise habit a LOT earlier.