You know all the reasons moving is good for you: strengthens your heart, keeps your brain sharp and helps maintain your weight. But why is it always so hard to actually start? Are you too busy? Afraid of falling? Too embarrassed to exercise in public? Or just too tired? Well, you are not alone. Only about half of adults get the 150 minutes per week of exercise the CDC recommends.
But now you won’t have any excuses because here are six suggestions on how to get moving from the AARP Staying Sharp website.
1. Even though your body constantly reminds you that you’re no longer seventeen, think back to when you were younger and the physical activities you enjoyed. Bicycling? Swimming? Dancing? You’ll keep moving if you enjoy what you’re doing.
2. Start small. Remember the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. Don’t worry about meeting the CDC recommendation when you start, just get started. If five minutes a day gets you moving, do it. Then add more the next week until you reach a comfortable level. The idea is to keep it fun. You don’t want to reach the point when exercise becomes a chore.
3. Increase all the physical activity you already do that you don’t think of as exercise —vacuuming or laundry - and when it gets warmer, planting a garden. And outside the home, take the stairs instead of the elevator; or walk inside instead of using the drive-through window. Easier doesn’t always mean better.
4. Use a pedometer or your phone’s step-counting app to track your steps each week. Then challenge yourself. Try to increase the number of steps by 10% each week. Record the number on your refrigerator to remind yourself how you are improving.
5. Find someone to workout with. You can hold each other accountable and encourage each other to do a little more until you reach a comfortable but challenging level. Besides it’s fun to work out with a friend.
6. Double your pleasure by doing purposeful tasks that can also increase your physical activity: walking your dog more often, volunteering to pick up trash at a Blue Zone event or doing my laundry. (I can drop my laundry off anytime that works for you!)
So. remember what you once enjoyed, start small, extend you non-exercise activities, measure your progress, get a buddy and exercise for a purpose. Then pull yourself up off the couch, take that first bite or in this case your first step, because it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts.
Every year I try to mention the Original Courthouse Regional History Forum because they always have such fascinating programs. This year’s first program on February 1st is “From Radical Idea to Ratification: Women’s Voting Rights”. The speaker is Janice Dilg the state coordinator for an online resource for the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women. She will tell the story of Sylvia Thompson (D-The Dalles) who introduced the bill ratifying the amendment in Oregon’s 1920 special session. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the 1859 courthouse behind The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.
For last week’s “Remember When” question I had to check Wikipedia twice to make sure I had the correct movie because so many were answering Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. But the correct answer is Lilies of the Field whose title came from Matthew 6:27-33. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Julie Carter, Rhonda Austin, Cheri Brent and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Dave Lutgens.
One last movie question before the Academy Awards. In 1957 David Lean won the Best Director Oscar for the film The Bridge on the River Kwai and five years later won his second Oscar for Best Director. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the epic historical film he directed about an English officer who successfully united and led the diverse Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a map of the Ottoman Empire before World War I.
Well, it’s been another week, looking for the cherry on top. Until we meet again, start doing what you know you can do.
“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.” Author Unknown