Step across the line

startline1Fitness is a lot like the weather. Everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it. Unlike the weather, something can be done about one’s fitness.

The problem is that establishing an exercise routine (as opposed to scattering a bunch of one-offs) takes a commitment that most people aren’t willing to make. That’s why most fitness clubs live off the dues of those who never darken their doors. The percentage of people with gym memberships who never use them is a whopping 67%. That’s two-thirds of the people paying dues who get nothing in return. And I’d be willing to bet that at least half of the other third rarely make an appearance. That’s great for the gyms. For the customer, not so much.

There are a lot of flabby people flopping around who are members of fitness clubs. Wow.

It’s pretty obvious to everyone at this point that regular physical exertion is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Plopping down on our ever-expanding duffs is no longer an option for anyone interested in quality and length of life. It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking; do it long enough and it’ll kill you. For those of us with chronic and other illnesses, the stakes are much higher. But the barriers are higher still.

The last thing someone with MS wants to do is exert herself. Just laying around can be tiring, why the heck would I want to add to my fatigue by exercising? As much as I hate to quote marketeers, Nike had it right when they said “just do it.” It might be hard, exhausting, and even painful in the short run, but we have to do it.

It’s like being inoculated against  disease: In order to be protected from some sicknesses, you have to get them into your system. It’s much the same with exercise. In order to get more energy, you have to wear yourself out. A bunch of times. Eventually, you reach a point where it’s not so bad. Then, after doing it for a while, it actually becomes enjoyable. Before you know it, you’re no longer looking for excuses not to exercise, you’re looking for excuses to do more. Suddenly, you  have more energy and endurance.

As I said before, all this, like so much else in life, takes commitment. In a previous post, I referred to an old song called “Step Across the Line.” That song is about commitment to following Christ. The same concept applies to exercise. You have to take a step across the invisible yet nearly insurmountable line of resistance between the point where exercise is a pain in the <insert applicable body part here> and where you accept that fact that it’s as necessary as eating and sleeping and get on with the hard work, knowing you’ll get the benefits in the long haul.

We’re not talking about running marathons here – although, if you can, God bless you – but rather anything that gets you off your keister and gets you moving: walking, running, biking (my personal choice), rowing, weights, swimming, calisthenics, aerobics, spinning, golf, horseback riding, gardening, … The list goes on. There’s got to be something out there you can do and will eventually enjoy.

The more time you spend on your butt, the more time you’ll have to spend on your butt.

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About rickconti

It's not about me, remember?
This entry was posted in MS and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Step across the line

  1. yvonnedes123 says:

    Thank you so much Rick!! I really needed this reminder. For me, my preferred exercise is walking on the beach. I live near one of the 10 best beaches in the country and walking it is relaxing. I should remind myself how beautiful it is rather than whining about how tired I am or how I have too many things to do.

    For those who don;t live near a beautiful beach or for when it is super cold out, my second favorite is using the WiiFit. It is like exercise games you play against yourself. And I enjoy it too. But do I do it on a regular basis? No, because of the same lame excuses. Your great post will inspire me to move, move, move.

    PS- I really hate that I can’t post directly on your blog for some weird reason that is solely the fault of my lame computer skills. If you’d like, feel free to post this for me if you think it is a good comment for this post. I hope you are doing great!

    Yvonne

    MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosiswww.yvonnedesousa.com

  2. dt109a says:

    Great post! I completely agree, the GYM is really hard to stick to and that’s why being regularly active by simply getting outside is the first step.

    • rickconti says:

      Yeah, hanging out in some massive box with a bunch of people who are simply trying to make themselves look better than me is no fun. If I wanted that, I’d go back to working at IBM. 🙂

  3. letsreallygoout says:

    I actually think key to getting active is making it a social experience. If your interested have a read of a blog on this: http://letsreallygoout.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/the-alternative-to-the-gym/

    • rickconti says:

      True again. For the 99% of us who aren’t hermits, having the support of others is critical to success at almost anything. I’ll take this opportunity to offer the wisdom of Solomon, which reinforces your wisdom:

      Two are better than one,
      because they have a good return for their labor:
      If either of them falls down,
      one can help the other up.
      But pity anyone who falls
      and has no one to help them up.
      Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
      But how can one keep warm alone?
      Though one may be overpowered,
      two can defend themselves.
      A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
      (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

  4. Pingback: Seal of Approval | Yvonne deSousa.com

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