Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: Move it!

 Gang Plank

Another area of primary food is movement.  Some people might call it exercise but I have a hard time spelling that word (the spell check gave me "excessive" and "exorcize" as options. ha!)  It is so interesting to me how all of the research I hear about "healthy" eating is always footnoted with something like, {blank} combined with moderate exercise leads to better health.  Really?  Maybe moderate movement is playing a bigger role.  But it is so hard to get people to start regular movement because just like diet overhaul it seems so overwhelming.  A gym membership, special clothes, looking like an idiot in front strangers.  Not even to mention the sore muscles.  And sweat!  Ug!

I'm here to tell you something I heard forever ago that I feel really makes a difference.  It is a big secret- are you ready?  Okay- you are already moving everyday!  You might even already be "exorcising!"  I remember hearing this amazing story about a bunch of cleaning ladies working at a hotel.  They were all overweight, all ate pretty crappy and had a pretty high rate of diabetes and heart disease.

A doctor came in and talked to them.  He told them, "You are on your feet all day.  You lift and carry, vacuum and bend down, walk and walk.  No wonder you don't want to go to the gym after working!  But you know, what you are doing for a job is working out."  He also talked about some basic food ideas.  Drink more water, eat more vegetables.  Super basic.  He gave them all pedometers.  He came back once a month for six months and had them keep logs of the pedometer readings.

They didn't increase the amount of movement they were doing.  They lost weight.  They ate a little better because they felt like taking better care of their bodies as they realized how much they asked of themselves each day.  Each month he saw progress.  They were happier and healthier at the end of the six months.

Wow.  Let's think about that for a minute.  Wow.

Realizing they were already working out was enough.

Now- not everyone has a job that is as demanding as those ladies.  My job involves running and chasing and walking and jumping and lifting and carrying.  All day.  I do not go to the gym.  I would go to yoga every week if I felt like I could swing it but it just isn't possible right now.  (read: I don't want it bad enough.)  What I do every day is a work out.  I am very in touch with that.  Many days I walk well over three miles.  (When it isn't crazy hot anyway.)

What I am trying to say is that we all do things every day that strain our muscles and burn calories.  I am not trying to say it is always enough.  When the Bug goes to school in the fall I imagine I will have to make an effort to find more movement in my days.  If you work sitting at a desk 8 to 10 hours a day you likely need to supplement.  But if we acknowledge what we are already asking of our bodies, well, it could go a long way.

And when you realize you are already working out you might feel like you should take better care of yourself by eating just a little better.  Tiny steps.  One more glass of water today.  One more vegetable.  One more time taking the stairs instead of waiting for an elevator.

You can do it!!  You are doing it!

PS- My father is nearly done with his gigantic July trip.  Please go read his blog, he put up some amazing videos of bunnies (of all things!)  And consider making a donation to Not Alone.  Thank you!!

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