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Exercise: From Foe to Friend

Posted by Paula Takacs Foundation

Thank you to Ashley Smith of AWS Fitness for this passionate and heartfelt post!

Why exercise? Plain and simple….because you can!

With the Sarcoma Stomp 5K just weeks away, this is the perfect opportunity to examine why starting a fitness program is a necessity.   As a personal trainer, I know that there are so many people out there that just DO NOT respond favorably to exercise. Meaning….there is nothing that they dread doing more. But, I am here to tell you that exercise must be an essential part of your life. If you are physically able, you have NO EXCUSE. If you aren’t exercising for YOU, do it for those who love you.

Instead of talking about all of the reasons that exercise is good for you (I think we all learned that in grade school Physical Education…nothing much has changed, folks), let’s talk about what inactivity does to our already AGING bodies. If you choose a sedentary lifestyle you are at risk for DIABETES, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, JOINT AND LIGAMENT PROBLEMS, and OBESITY. And, remember how I mentioned AGING??? Well, to put it bluntly, a decline in how our brains and bodies function and perform starts at age 40. 40?!?! How do we slow that trend down? EXERCISE! It’s very simple.

I know that starting a program is hard and maybe you are telling yourself that you have tried it 20 times before. Maybe you stuck with it for a while and then quit. Maybe you failed all together and never even got past day one. Well, MAKE TODAY DIFFERENT by doing these three things for me.

  • Choose a plan that will stick. Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t expect instant results. Change takes time. If you choose a plan that delivers gradual results and not one that breaks you down right out of the gates, you are more likely to stick with it. Find a couple of things that you really enjoy doing and do them….OFTEN….4–5 times/week.
  • Get your friends and family on board with you. Exercise is much more fun if you have a friend that wants to work hard too. If you can’t find someone, sign up for some classes. More importantly, schedule them and PUT THEM ON YOUR CALENDAR. You are less likely to bail on things if they are actually scheduled in your day, week after week.
  • Make a public commitment. We live in a public world these days. Like it or not, people know a lot about you. Why should this be any different? If you let others know that you are starting an exercise program, it will force you to have others hold you accountable. Set goals for yourself….maybe it’s losing weight, maybe its gaining strength, maybe it’s running a 5K (I happen to know one coming up in 3 weeks). Whatever it is, tell your friends about it and let them help you!

Finally, if you can take anything away from what I’ve said here, please let it be this. Your body requires a certain amount of love and respect to thrive. If you live your life saying, “I can’t do this” or “I’ll fail” or “It’s just too hard”, that mindset becomes who you are. Don’t let this negativity become your life experience. How do you know that this time won’t be the one time that it sticks? How do you know that you won’t start to love how you feel every single day?

Do it for yourself. Do it for your children. Do it for those that can’t. Do it because you can.

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