By: Eileen Bauman, ARNP-C
Obesity is truly an epidemic! Our lives with the conveniences of cars, TV’s, Cell Phones, and computers encourage a sedentary lifestyle. So many people work in a job where they get little to no exercise and sit at a desk for way too many hours. This could cause expansion of the gluteal muscles and permanent damage to the abdomen. After spending a stressful day online, behind the register, on the phone and on the buttocks, most people lose all motivation and wind up on the couch. “Newton’s First Law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.” Let’s get your ‘force’ going!
Mrs. P told me the story about how she got her ‘force’ going: “I was taking my baby boy out in the stroller and met a neighbor from two doors down. She asked me if it would be okay if she walked with me. After introductions, we started talking and it seemed she was experiencing the same dilemma with motivation. We both had some work that needed to be done on our physiques. We decided to help each other out by becoming walking buddies and when weather allowed, I put the baby in the stroller and we had a “walk and talk.” We started out with just a few blocks but eventually went miles together enjoying the discussions and not even thinking about the exercise and pounds we were losing. Honestly, I looked forward to our time together, it was therapeutic and an additional benefit was that my son would be asleep by the time we were done.”
If you could just find 20 minutes three times a week to walk it would make a big difference in your life. Consider taking an agreeable spouse, your child or children, or a friend and have a “walk and talk” it would change your life and the life of others. The benefits are both psychological and physical and the sacrifice is small. I encourage my patients to take a walk, to find a friend and make a commitment to do this for both of you. A patient concerned about his blood pressure and weight decided to play tennis regularly with his children, he said: “I lost 15 pounds in just a few months and get along with my children much better. They love the interaction and I love them. Also, my blood pressure has gone down and I feel so much better.”
If you have limitations or are medically compromised, consider moving the arms or lifting your legs or moving whatever you can to music. Dance in the chair like nobody is watching and reach for the sky. It’s the little things you do that make a big difference in how you feel. One nurse said: “I experienced unbelievable foot pain, had surgery and was told I may never be able to wear shoes comfortably or dance again. I used a balancing ball and put on a belly dancing DVD and did my best. At first I felt discouraged, but with continued effort could walk a straight line. Now I wear low heels and sneakers and walk like nothing ever happened.”
I see people pairing up every morning and walking along Lake Toho in Saint Cloud. That always brings a smile to my face, if you are one of those dedicated walkers; I want you to know you make my day! Also, did you know there’s a 6:30 AM group that does Tai Chi or Yoga at the lake? What an awesome way to spend the morning at sunrise by the lake.
So, please take a step in the right direction and bring a friend along!