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New Year’s Day has come and gone with its resolutions that either change your life or will disappear with the turning of the calendar page to February.

Our office staff decided that February would be a good time to make a change. Our disgust with food habits over the holidays, lack of exercise because of bad weather, and excuses, such as no programs in our county, is at a peak now.

Seventy percent of Americans do not have a fitness program, 16 percent, or 47 million, do not have insurance, and those who do may find their benefits are reduced. Whatever we read about most health problems always has the line, “exercise daily.”

Are you one of many out there who know you should be exercising, but you aren’t sure where to begin? Do the tools of fitness--exercise bikes, nautilus machines, treadmills, exercise balls and free weights--intimidate you? Maybe you find exercise boring? If any of the above applies to you, you are not alone. Although many people are aware of the importance of physical fitness, seventy percent do not exercise on a regular basis. They are usually disappointed by the lack of immediate results.

If you are finding it hard to get moving, a reminder of the benefits should spur you to action. Regular physical activity, in addition to making you look and feel good, lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. In fact, exercise and strength training can help you look and feel younger.

Miriam Nelson, a scientist and specialist in aging at Tufts University, said, “Biologically, we can reverse the aging process by 15 to 25 years. We can do that by becoming stronger.” Exercise can also help you maintain your mobility and independence. Regular activity helps keep bones and muscles strong and promotes good balance. In addition, it combats frailty.

One of the most common reasons people do not exercise is because they think of exercise as a chore, rather than an enjoyable pastime. Recognize that regular physical activity can provide more than just physical benefits. Feeling involved, connected and passionate about things will also help you live a longer and healthier life. You are more likely to make a commitment to good fitness if you shift your focus and decide to do things that you enjoy.

You may ask, “What are you (Helen) going to do about it?” I was planning to make a change, “sometime,” but that turned into “today” after I overheard a conversation at the Realty office. Sally and Angie were discussing the benefits of a 20-minute walk after the evening meal to reduce stress and have a better night’s rest.

I made the decision to start walking again that same evening. I like walking to lively music or watching history CDs. I also plan to start an exercise program by Feb. 15. Now, I have set two goals. I also have my doctor’s approval! Why not join me in improving your life?

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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