This is the first of many posts about exercise and physical activity. It's offseason right now, I won't start competing again until May or June. There are several thoughts going through my head as I write this. Do I want to tell them now that I may do a Half Ironman this coming summer? or Do I want to tell them how excited I am to go skiing all winter?
Either way, I am telling you about how much I love being active and how I ultimately incorporated it into my life. Gotta start small. All young people, once you can walk you should be encouraged to be active. It's human behavior. I just witnessed my niece, Viviana, walk at 11 months, run at 12 and I'm pretty sure she's galloping and about to take flight at 13 months. Being active is human nature. Our bodies depend on it. We are meant to be moving. If you weren't raised in sports or outdoor activities, it means you have a little more work to do. This means, you have to teach yourself what you like to do. For those of you lucky enough to be young movers, please, ask yourself one question. Are you still moving?
If yes, I'm proud of you. If no, what happened?
We have an individual responsibility to find something we like to do that makes us move. This could mean walking for some, this could be playing sports for others, this could be yoga, it could be boxing, it could be kayaking, it could be fencing, whatever your heart desires, teach yourself to like it. Our responsibility to ourselves is keeping our heart in shape for it to handle many different situations. Just because we don't feel our arteries actively getting clogged, doesn't mean they aren't. Everyday at work, I see people receive coronary stents, coronary bypass, valve replacements, they go in and out of heart failure, its sad. It's sad that they didn't have the resources to keep them healthy in the first place. Its sad that no one helped them gain responsibility over their life, SOONER.
My life revolves around me being active. Not everyone has to become hyper-focused on health, but we know that with 30 mins a day of physical activity, we can start to decrease our risks of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Maybe it's not a question of what we like and we like all of these things, but feel as if our body, injuries, and other aches, prevent us from doing these things. This is always a sensitive subject. I know what its like to be injured. I don't know what its like to never go back to working out because I refused that to be an answer. For those of you who were injured and have not returned back to physical activity because of that, we should talk. The human body is remarkable, don't give up on it.
There are definitely days when my body says no, couch time only, and I rest until my body feels good. Knowing when to rest or take it easy took years of self-awareness; I needed support to realize it and same with most athletes. I always try to walk even on days where I'm not feeling good. A 15-30 min slow walk is meditative and restorative.
I spend my summers doing triathlons or marathons, I spend my winters skiing and offseason training; I'm an athlete. I believe that everyone can be an athlete. That everyone could be constantly active all year round. The stamina, the energy, the enthusiasm, I believe its attainable for all. We just have to understand how to access it. We need the resources and support needed in the areas to make it happen.
Next Exercise and Physical Activity topic, I'll get into time commitments and routines. Feel free to contact me.