Just One Thing To Do This Week: Exercise

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

You know it was bound to happen. I have written about eating less sugar (a daily struggle), drinking more water (easier than eating less sugar), and getting more restful sleep (dream away), but now we have to talk about exercise. Of course, talking about exercise is the easy part.

Actually doing exercise is the hard part.

I have boxes of DVDs showcasing various belly-busting, butt-firming and thigh-slimming workouts. I found them again just this last weekend. I have not watched them in years, maybe decades, and some of the DVDs have never even been opened. Did I drop them off at Casa Mesita or the library so someone who might actually use them could benefit? No, I did not. I thought, “I am going to hang on to these just a while longer because…,” because if I get rid of them it is like I am giving up on exercise all together, I am giving up hope on being the gal on the cover of the box.

My first cop-out is that the experts keeping changing how much and what kind of exercise you need to stay healthy. Long ago I became a certified personal trainer so I could figure out for myself what kind of exercise I should or should not be doing, and why I should or should not be doing those particular exercises. That worked great for several years.

Then one day my inner-slug woke up, rolled over, and just lay there. Just. Lay. There. For quite a long while. I think it was a combination of medications, change of life, depression, and just laying there, that made me feel like just laying there. Clearly, there is no compelling reason (excuse) for just laying there. I just lay there. But, eventually one day I woke up and my body was all squishy and jiggly again, and I was old, and felt like crap. That sucked. No matter if the official exercise recommendations were ever-changing. I knew I had to start moving.

So I rallied, gathered supportive people around me, and started working, once again, on improving my health and well-being. This is a journey that is new every single day.

I have a few advantages. I know what I need to do to achieve better physical fitness. My priorities are that of a more mature (old) person—I want to increase core strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. The whole belly, butt, thigh thing is not important any more. I think I don’t care if I look like the gal on the cover of the workout video–so why can’t I let her go? I am comfortable in gyms and at the Family Y. But I know there are folks out there who want to increase their health and fitness levels but don’t know where to start. I think I can offer some encouragement.

First- START. Start moving a body part. Walking around the block is better than sitting on the couch. Start with manageable changes. In December I biked on most mornings for 20 minutes. That was my (latest) starting point. December was great. But January was an awful fitness month. We traveled some and then I had a terrible virus, and life got a little crazy and I only exercised twice. But now it is February and I have started over. I am pleased to announce in February I have worked out every single day! You have to start somewhere and just take your successes anywhere you can find them. February is already awesome.

Here is something else I know. If you want to be successful with an exercise program, surrounding yourself with supportive people can make all the difference in the world. If you want to be healthy and fit, being around healthy and fit people is a great way to start. If you are unaccustomed to being in gyms and using workout equipment those are the people that can help you, but they can also be the people that make you feel anxious.

In Los Alamos we are lucky to have number of organizations and individuals that are committed to helping people become healthier. They are fit and healthy people who are not scary or intimidating. They are willing to meet you in your starting place. If you are ready to start a fitness program, or if you want to know more about starting a fitness program, here are some people you can call:

  • The Family YMCA – Stacy Castille – 505.662.3100
  • CrossFit Los Alamos – John Wilcox – 505.412.5774
  • The Los Alamos Fitness Center – Kent Pegg – 505.662.5232

There are other fitness professionals out there, these are just the people I know. Feel free to email me at mb@ladailypost.com if you have other names to suggest. You can also go to this column on the Los Alamos Daily Post FaceBook page and add a comment or suggestion.

AS A REMINDER
While you are sitting at the computer writing, please also email your favorite Valentine story to mb@ladailypost.com with the subject line Valentine Story no later than noon, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. The top five stories as selected by the editorial team will be published in the Los Alamos Daily Post Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

From the top five stories, the Los Alamos Daily Post editorial team will select one winner. That winner will receive dinner for two at the Blue Window Bistro and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

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