Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 6: We Like to Move It, Move It!

The number one indicator of staving off long term disease is movement every day. Brisk walking for 30 minutes each day is enough to accomplish that feat. What is brisk walking? Walking at a pace, or biking at a pace, or swimming at a pace that requires you to take in more air between words in a sentence, can be sufficient. (Cycling should require you to complete 100 revolutions of peddling per minute in order to be at an "active" state.)

Test yourself as you head out for the activity of choice. Say hello to the neighbors, "How are you today, Mr. Kastakakis?". As you pick up speed, the greeting should go more like this, "How are-----you today----Mr. ----Kata---kakis?"

Don't have 30 minutes? How about 20 minutes while rice cooks? 10 minutes while waiting for the shower? Have little ones? Bring them with you...wagons, strollers, bikes all make it easier for them to keep up and bonus: you're teaching them a great lifestyle skill!

As you warm your body, pause to stretch and breathe, probably no more than 5 minutes. When you are ready to finish, take another 5 minutes to stretch and breathe. Listen to your body. If it hurts, stop. If you suddenly have chest pain or nausea, sit or lie down for a few minutes and see if it subsides. Resume activity gently. If chest pain or nausea continues, call the doctor. Symptoms may or may not be serious (remember, you checked with your doctor already to establish an OKAY to begin lifestyle changes).

Work yourself into a regime. Look at it this way: you show up for the dentist, work, class, and church; parent-teacher conferences,weddings, funerals, bar-mitzvahs, and baptisms. Use this time to show up for yourself. Make it a date.

How am I accomplishing this? I am using the first 10-20 minutes of my day (and I'm not either an early riser or a morning person by design)to walk or bike to a place where I can weigh myself. I don't pause for coffee, shower, or makeup check. I just go (scary for those who may meet me, I know). Any pause for me is just a window to provide an escape, so out of bed and out the door I go.

Say you don't want to weigh each day, maybe instead of paper delivery, you pick it up at another locale.... maybe you just want to see the horizon each day, to watch the sun break over it...maybe there's wildlife that's just waiting to be seen in a quiet moment....who knows?

Find something that makes the "appointment with self" interesting and worth showing up for...for me, I have a requirement for now, but after reading A Sand County Almanac, I may shift my focus to a daily observation point. I'll keep you posted.

For this week, make it your goal to be ACTIVE for 30 minutes total. Next week be ACTIVE for 60 minutes total. And work yourself up to 150 minutes of ACTIVE movement.

Got achy joints? I'll share this tip from one of my senior cohorts: use walking sticks. She says she's got a new lease on life since she started using them. She used to be afraid to walk because of the pain she would feel in her knees and ankles. Since using walking sticks, she's had no pain and more enjoyment of movement than ever before.

I look forward to hearing what's working for you.

1 comment:

  1. I like it, Heather! I've been making a point of walking to work whenever possible this spring, and I feel good about moving AND about the energy I'm saving! :)