Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Move That Body

I recently read an article that over 63% of Americans are overweight or obese.  While much of this is due to diet, a large part of this can be blamed on inactivity.  The average American spends 56 hours a week sitting.  The British are even worse with an average of 14 hours a day on their butts.  As our world becomes more and more technological, it presents greater challenges for each of us to get up on our feet and move.  A large percentage of us spend our workday sitting in front of a computer.  Then, exhausted from a stressful day at work, we plop down in front of the television or our home computer.  Cars provide many conveniences for us, but they also keep us from walking to the store.  Even kids find entertainment in a screen today rather than playing outside.  Our fast-paced society actually has us more immobile than ever.

I'm certainly a "victim" of this modern way of life.  When I lived in Santiago, Chile for a year, I didn't have a car. I had to walk to work, walk to the store, or stand on the Metro to get somewhere far.  Back in the states, my car can take me anywhere I want to go in minutes.  After four years of being back, I packed on about 50 extra pounds.  Of course, having inflammation deep in the tissue of my right foot didn't help.  Pain can keep us from wanting to do anything but sit around the house.  However, it can also be a great motivator.  When Plantar Fasciitis found its way back into my foot, I decided to do something about it.

While I haven't been great about getting back into a regular exercise routine, I am certainly more active than I've been in years.  Lately, I spend many an afternoon swimming in the ocean or walking on a crowded street (I love to people watch).  As the inflammation in my foot disappears (thanks in large part to my raw diet), I am finding less excuses to not get out and exercise.

I have to admit that exercise has always been a challenge for me.  I'm more of an intellectual person than a physical person, so I have to dig deep to find the motivation.  One thing that I am learning is that I need variety.  If I do the same thing every day, I get bored and will stop doing it.  The key for me lies in finding four or five things I love (or even like) to do and take on a different exercise every day.

So, my goals for moving my body consist of exercising/working out five times a week, doing something active on the two off days, learning more about advances in fitness science, stretching every day and learning how to recognize and overcome my habitual procrastination.  Every week, I'll discuss my accomplishments and challenges and highlight a specific workout I am doing.  Some of the things that interest me are swimming (especially in the ocean), hiking, power walking, yoga and Pilates, kayaking, hill climbing, biking, kayaking, weight training and aerobic exercise.  I love the outdoors, so I hope to incorporate outside activities at least four or five days a week.

So, please join me every Wednesday as I discuss my commitment to staying in shape.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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