Fitness - The Difficult Subject

Mary's picture

Fitness is difficult because we know that we should do more, but life somehow gets in the way.

The easiest thing for me is going for a walk.  When I was working full time and arriving home after active days at the office, the obvious path from the garage was straight to the kitchen to start dinner.  There was one obstacle, however, an 84 pound dog, standing by the front door with his tail a-wagging and ready to run. 

For many years, this distraction kept me from standing in the kitchen so soon, first I had to change clothes and head out the door, regardless of weather, the dog running ahead – for about a mile.

En route, an odd thing happened, about a block from the house, I would let out a big sigh, then after another block, another sigh.  After about 4-5 sighs, there were no more.  Some years  later, it dawned on me that the sighs were stress and the longer I walked the dog, the better I felt.  After the walk, dinner got done anyway.  And the stress was reduced. 

There are so many things we can do.  A dear friend was diagnosed (at age 55) with a genetic heart condition, which started with a heart attack and ambulance ride to the hospital. Lissie was told she had three months to live.  She had to leave a lucrative full-time job, go on bed rest and take all sorts of medicines. 

Amazingly, she did not die, and held on to life.  As time went by, further tests and medications were tried and medicines were adjusted. She took about 12 medicines every day, and stayed alive.  Three months passed by, then six months, then a year.  She could get up and moving around in the morning, but after lunch she had to sleep for 2-4 hours.  While all this went on, she was very bored.  It is very hard to do nothing.

Since she lived in the south, there was a swimming pool in the complex.  She decided to go into the water, and with doctor’s approval, she started to move around in the water, swimming just a little but improving.  She increased to 40 minutes of swimming at a time. 

Today she is still on about 10 medicines per day, and may be on them forever, but she has a meaningful life, a loving husband (who cooks gourmet!!) and wonderful neighbors and friends.  She also decided to help others and volunteers at a food shelf.  She is able to be there about one or two mornings a week, and sleeps in the afternoons.  I am lucky to be her friend.

I have another friend who has four children and is a retired realtor.  Her husband suffered with cancer for over four years and she took care of him all that time.  After his passing she had open heart surgery, and she lives with arthritis, but Irmie has not given up either, she golfs and does water aerobics (each) twice a week.  In winter she and friends go to a motel, pay $3. to swim, use a hot tub and shower.  In summer they go to an outdoor pool where one lady lives.  She even found two classmates there from high school.  

She has a special grand daughter who loves bugs and all critters. So Grandma and the little bug girl fish in the pond behind Grandma’s house, and the little girl walks around in the muck looking for bugs, tadpoles and such.  I am lucky to be Irmie’s friend also, she treated me like a sister when I moved to her town, and knew no one.   

So how can we be fit?  We need to do something, or a combination of many things.  If we are going to list some beneficial activities of life, what would we say?  Here’s my list:

  1.  Gardening – plant some flowers or veggies in the yard or in pots, you will be busy weeding, watering and taking care of them.  Gardening is hard work!
  2. Vacuum the floors – this is still the only household thing that makes me break a sweat.
  3. Scrub a floor on your hands and knees – kneel on a pad and get that floor clean!
  4. Go for a walk, look around, observe the stress fall away.  If it is hot, early morning is nice.
  5. Take care of a pet, they are the ones who love us in spite of ourselves, no matter what. And you can walk someone else’s dog, it will help both of you.
  6. Dance – turn on that music, dance alone, you will feel better if you move around.
  7. Swim if you can, the water feels so good, it is as refreshing as can be.  Swimming is wonderful to me.
  8. Yoga and meditation are really good for everything in one’s body, if you do it, you can tell the difference.
  9. Try to help those less fortunate, you will feel better about yourself and your life.  Donate things you don’t need or use.  Life changes and we need to adapt!  We can change our karma, love and kindness do wonders and leave no room for the bad stuff.

How about your list, we would love to print them, after all, It’s rChance to Live and Thrive, Every Day and In Every Way!

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