As the snow and ice of the past season begins to melt away, you may realize that this is the perfect time to get energized and enjoy the outdoors. For anyone that has been cooped up indoors all season, the springtime breezes right around the corner may be just the thing to encourage a new found enjoyment of being physical again.
Hopefully this won’t bring about nasty flashbacks of countless laps in the Police Academy gym. However, and more to the point, have you done anything in an athletic nature since those days in the gym? All too often, we hear stories of “I’m just too busy,” or, “Work takes too much time”, or, (a personal favorite) “I’m in the same shape I was in while in the academy.” Okay, take an honest look in the mirror, and see if that is maybe stretching the truth a bit. Or maybe it’s an outright lie. In any case, the vast majority of us could use a nudge in the athletic direction.
“Why bother,” you may ask. “I have too much to do as it is. My spouse, my kids, my job, and my pet wolverine - they all demand so much time. How can I take on an exercise plan when so many others depend on me?” You need an exercise plan precisely because so many people depend on you. Let’s face it, we may think we improve with age, but in reality, we just get tired more easily. If this describes you, then there is no mystery- you are out of shape! If you truly wish to honor all those commitments to family, job, and assorted pets, you have to put some thought AND some effort into it. Don’t put it off. Along with diet, exercise is the simplest way to prevent illness. You will reduce the risk of heart disease, various types of cancer, ward off diabetes, reduce inflammation, and alleviate the symptoms of depression. Yes, exercise will bring about certain chemical changes in the brain that will “lighten the load” when it comes to the pressures of day-to-day living (the runner’s high does exist).
The amazing thing about feeling good is that it is addictive. Pretty soon you will accomplish more in your day than ever before, and look pretty darn good doing it. If you plan on collecting pension checks for 40 or so years, you might as well come up with a plan to ensure you can enjoy the money! Yes, there are plenty of other components to a long, healthy life, such as nutrition, supplements, and stress reduction, just to mention a few. Start slow and build upon a good foundation.
One way to ensure your commitment to
a new health plan is to spend the money on a gym membership! If you are paying
some hard earned cash; you will be more inclined to go work out. It doesn’t have to break the bank. Check with your union’s Health & Welfare office. Many offer gym memberships at a reduced rate. This makes perfect sense: if you do some preventive maintenance for your health; they pay out less for prescription drugs and the like. Don't overlook the Department's Cardio Fitness Centers. They are spread out throughout the city, and the current yearly membership fee is $40.00!
meantime, why not make a commitment to yourself to be healthier in the new year? It will give you a brighter outlook, and elevate your mood regarding your relationships (personal and professional), improved self-esteem, and a trimmer body to check out as you pass store windows. Vanity, in small doses, will keep you motivated, and is also the outward sign to know you have one sexy heart pumping in your chest.
Start out slow, and get a check-up with your doctor if it’s been a while since you took on any sports. Set realistic goals and you will feel 10 years younger before long. What have you got to lose, except all that excess weight?