By Sarah L. Caracciolo
DHAC Assistant Fitness Director
The alarm clock goes off and I hit snooze twice. I finally roll out of bed, stumble to the coffee maker and brew my first cup. Immediately upon smelling the sweet scent of “awake” I am transformed into go mode. Let my day begin!
On my way to work, my brain churns with everything I need to get done. Nine long hours later, I have done just about all I can do in one day. I am mentally drained, physically exhausted, and I jump into my car with one destination in mind – HOME. When I arrive at home, I repeat the same process that I did at work, a carefully calculated list of chores, laundry, dinner, and if I’m lucky, the evening news. I set my alarm clock, grumble about the lack of hours in a day and prepare to do the same exact thing tomorrow.
Like a puzzle in a kid’s magazine, can you find what’s missing in my story? Odds are my story is your story. Maybe there are a few differences: kids, errands, appointments, etc. but the plot is the same. We are still missing one thing: EXERCISE. I forgot to exercise. Whatever, I didn’t have the time today. Does this sound familiar?
My story cannot end like this and neither should yours. Can you imagine pulling a muscle while doing the laundry? Do you notice how out of breath you become while playing with your kids or grandkids? Can you figure out how many projects you’ve put off because you were just too weak to perform them?
These three common examples can each be helped by three components of fitness. Flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training. 20-minutes of each equals 60-minutes of your day. Just start with three days a week. That’s only three hours out of 112 waking hours per week (yes, I gave you eight hours of sleep a night!). A small commitment when you think about all the benefits.
If you don’t have the time to be sick or out of commission, you had better make the time to exercise. Maybe that sounds a little emphatic, but it’s true. If I pull my lower back doing the laundry, I’m out of commission for a lot longer than three hours. That doesn’t even include any rehab time or how much longer it takes to complete everyday tasks.
Not only does a small commitment to exercise make my life easier, but it also makes me stronger, and at reduced risk for numerous diseases, ailments, and conditions. I feel better, have increased energy and decreased stress. In short, I have a better quality of life.
I once heard someone say “This one life we have is it. This is NOT a dress rehearsal.” I choose to spend this one life feeling great, agile, mobile, able, fit, and happy. The question is will you join me?