Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Get a Move On!

Have you moved yet today?

I don't mean from bed to car to desk to car to couch. I mean getting fresh oxygen into your lungs and getting your blood circulating. If your idea of a break and some fresh air is to step outside (only because that's what's expected) for a smoke, then this goes double for you.

Lack of time is one of the biggest reasons I hear people don't do anything to get (and stay) fit. The real reason (and the second most likely cited) is lack of motivation. Why is that? For many of us, it's because we've thought of ourselves as a brain that just happens to be associated with a body for so long we've forgotten that the two do actually come as a matched set. For others, maybe the desire to play video games the 20 hours a day we don't sleep is more enticing.

In truth, though, just about anything else that we do and enjoy can be made better by paying at least some attention to our bodies by looking after them and caring for them to some degree. That is even true if we give it just 10 minutes at a time.

When we get regular cardiovascular exercise of some kind, we live longer, feel better, enjoy food more, get to eat more food (or don't have to cut out quite as much), and have more stamina to do the other things we like to do. Yes, even THAT.

Let's pretend that you decide you really are motivated to get with this fitness thing. You're not angling to become the next governor of California or anything, you just want to be able to walk around the block without getting out of breath. There's that time factor of course, so how do you deal with that? Well, how about starting with just ten minutes at a time. Take a walk instead of having a smoke. Or find something else you enjoy doing - a quick bike ride, shoot some hoops, go for a run, or even yoga (don't laugh - have you tried it?). If you belong to a gym, you probably have even more options available to you. Swimming is one of my favorites. I can get a full body workout in a short period of time and I usually don't spend the next half hour sweating.

One great way to ease your way into this moving thing without having to dive right into a big commitment is to focus on the 10,000 Steps advocated by the Surgeon General. Don't try to DO 10,000 steps just yet. Just track with a pedometer (this one I won't link out to - there are too many to try to indicate a preference) and make a note of how many steps you're walking each day. After doing that for a while, start increasing it, just a little each week. While you're at it, take note of how you're feeling. If you're increasing your activity slowly enough, you'll probably be feeling better in all sorts of ways you may not have even thought about before. And THAT can help provide some of the motivation you may have been lacking up until this point to get out and move.

Oh, and do us all a favor - consult with a doctor before making any serious changes to your level of activity. The presumption here is that you do have a brain attached to that body you're thinking of taking better care of.

What's your favorite activity for attaining/maintaining some level of fitness? What kind of results have you noticed? What are your favorite excuses for not being more fit? If you have of any of these or any helpful advice to share with others, send them to me at techsurvivor@soaringmountain.com.

Just remember, "Everything in moderation - including moderation". The idea is to enjoy life!