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Staying Active: The Last Cosmic Joke

Dara Johnston- Resident Lazy Bones

When asked to write a post about staying active, the first thought was who are we kidding?!?! Staying active, sure that’s definitely important, and what all of the health magazines state we should do as well as our health professionals/ parent educators/ teachers etc…

However, what I wish I could say to the next person to tell me to get off the couch is a resounding (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) Is this some horrible cosmic joke? Am I now supposed to fit in being active with the care of my loved ones, working all the time, studying for classes, studying for professional certifications, trying to get ahead at work, and my failure of a social life?

Once again – are you serious!

So instead this post will illuminate why taking time for oneself is a better alternative to ‘staying active’. Sure all you gym rats and super healthy types can still workout until you ach; eating your organic vegetables and staying away from refined sugar.

However, my lazy self is going to attack this list of things as if it were my weekly bucket list:

  • Taking time to read a book for leisure
  • Taking a walk in the early evening
  • Meditating (if that’s your thing)
  • Actually have a conversation with my loved ones that doesn’t end and begin with ‘Yeah, work/ school was fine’
  • Setting the alarm early so that I can press the snooze button as many times as I want
  • Going on a hike, instead of cleaning out the garage
  • Turning off my phone, Ipad, Computer for the whole weekend
  • Sleeping past 5 AM on the weekends
  • Learning to cook a new dish each weekend that straddles the line of healthy and still edible

You get the picture, I am not advocating for staying on the couch indefinitely but rather slowing down long enough to enjoy the simple pleasures. Therefore, I challenge all of you to come up with a short weekly bucket list that helps to put the focus back on your priorities- what type of things will be on your list?

Staying Active

Staying Active is an important part of our day.  We can find ways to be active at school, work and at home.  Being active means knowing the value of physical activity and making it a priority in our lives.  Sometimes being fit makes it easier to accomplish the other things that are competing for our time.  It’s important to realize that healthy bodies come in a range of weights, shapes, and sizes. Know what your strengths and abilities are.

  Look for ways to take exercise breaks at work such as:  taking a walk during lunch or use stairs instead of the elevator.  There are many ways to become more active by walking, gardening, swimming, bicycling , dancing or exercising while watching TV .  These activities are easy to start with because they don’t need much training, can be done alone or with friends, don’t cost much and can be done by people of almost any age.  Physical activity is just as important for bone health as it is for muscle strength.  Women who do weight-bearing exercise such as walking, running, or tennis have a greater bone density than women who do non weight bearing exercise such as swimming or gardening.  Choose to exercise in shorter blocks of time instead of longer ones.    Think of family time as a chance for both you and  your whole family to do active fun things together.  Include the children on camping, hiking, canoeing, skiing and other trips and outings.  Always encourage lifelong sports such as swimming, cycling, tennis, jogging, skiing, or hiking.

Consider what types of community activities are available.  Choose a time that works for you and commit to participating in some type of physical activity each day.

Some tips for continuing to stay  active:

Remind yourself of what you get out of being active.  Set specific goals that you know you can achieve.  Keep track of what you have done, and reward yourself when you reach a goal.  Expect to be thrown off schedule sometimes.  Get back on track as soon as you can.

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