Keeping healthy is up to us
One of the important principles in keeping a balanced life is maintaining a healthy life. Some things we can’t help when it comes to health. We sometimes get illnesses or injuries that we just can’t avoid. But there are things we can do to help us maintain a state of health that keeps us better than the average American if we will just do it.
I’m not talking about going to the gym five days a week or running a hundred miles a week. I’m not sure that’s even healthy for us. If you think about your grandparents, they could probably work you under the table any day of the week. I know mine could. They never went to the gym, because they didn’t exist in the form they do now. Gyms at the turn of the last century were places for boxers to train, not places for spinner or yoga classes.
My grandparents didn’t run or lift weights. They didn’t exercise everyday or consciously think about staying in shape. They didn’t attend yoga groups or swimming schools or any of the things that capture the attention of the younger generation today. Yet they could work all day every day and get up the next morning ready to do the same thing again.
Is the sedentary life style to blame?
I know, you’ll tell me much of their fitness was due to the fact they didn’t live a sedentary lifestyle, and that’s exactly the point. Today we circle the parking lot looking for the space closest to the mall entrance so we don’t have to walk the extra fifty feet before we walk through the entire mall three times looking for just the right dress for the prom! Pretty dumb thinking! We get gadgets to help us not expend energy, like all the remote controls on our entertainment systems. In fact, I don’t even know where the on/off button is on my television or if it has one.
So how do we get out of this dilemma we put ourselves into that drains our physical fitness? What can we do to get back into the physical shape we desire without spending hours in the gym or running miles on the roads?
Mimic your kids
Watch a documentary about come newly discovered tribe in some jungle or desert or wilderness somewhere. Watch how they move. They don’t have gyms or weight lifting regimens. No one teaches them about fitness, but watch the grace of their movements. Now watch little kids move and mimic them. You’ll be amazed how flexible they are and how inflexible you’ve become. Their joints are not significantly different from yours except theirs are new and yours are underused.
The fitness industry might hate me for this, but I think the real secret to fitness lies in looking back at what our grandparents and their parents did. WALK! If you can get to wherever you want to go by walking in fifteen minutes or less, walk. Park in the back of the parking lot instead of at the front. Take a stroll around your neighborhood after dinner instead of watching that mindless television show. Make it a family affair. Start a new trend in the neighborhood.
The second thing you should do is move every joint every day. Because of our sedentary lifestyles, we allow ourselves to get stuck in the same position for hours at a time. Be conscious that the joints in your body are there for a purpose. They were intended to move. When they don’t things don’t work as well as they should. If you don’t move them often, like everything, they get stiff and stuck and painful. So just move everything several times a day. Get up and walk around and move around.
Just walk and move
That’s it for better fitness. Just those two things. The problem most of us have with fitness is we think we need to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in gyms lifting weights and doing what fitness trainers tell us to do. We strain muscles, pull tendons, injury joints, and do untold damage to our bodies physically and psychologically doing things our bodies were never built to do. All we really need to do is move every day and often.
You don’t need to be a jock to be fit. A bunch of them are always on the injury list! You only need to move constantly and consistently. Move enough and you’ll be able to move like those tribal men and women on the documentaries. Move enough and you’ll bend like a five-year old. Just move.
If you agree, share this with someone who needs to hear it. If not, send me your comments.