One of my favorite writers, Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Theo Le Sieg and Dr. Seuss) once wrote:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Let’s take that thought into 2013. Let’s unleash a collective grin because we’re all still here. And we’ve all been given another chance to get it right.
Speaking of getting it right, if improving your health is on your to-do list this year, we can help. Stay tuned for our weekly suggestions to help you along the way. We’re calling it Fit in a Year. And it won’t be an exercise of the week. We want to help everyone thrive on all levels — physical, emotional, intellectual — because we believe they are inseparable — and essential.
So, the first thing we’ll need is a benchmark. A place to start. This week will be a physical assessment. Choose one of these measurements: if you have a set of stairs handy, see how many times you can run up and down a flight of them in one minute. If you haven’t any stairs, try this: Jump rope or do Jumping Jacks for 60 seconds. If your knees hurt, do the Jacks where you only step out on one side and then the other — no jumping. Count the jumps/minute. Notice your heart rate. You should feel a bit warm and out of breath. This exercise measures your aerobic capacity: your ability to convert stored fuel to energy-on-demand and the strength of your heart muscle. The higher your aerobic ability and the stronger your heart muscle, the more efficiently your body will work.
The number you get now is for your record. No analyzing it. What we’ll look for is improvement 6 weeks from now — around Easter.
After you take this measurement, go outside for a walk. Even if it’s cold. Bundle up. Just get outside and DO IT, to steal a wonderfully succinct message. Get out of your house or apartment. Feed your eyes, your nose and your heart. Think about how you feel physically and mentally as you walk. Walk as long as you can.
When you return, note any changes. Did your heart rate increase? Are you seeing your home a bit differently? Are you more relaxed? It’s important that you connect this movement to the way you feel afterward.
I’m betting you’ll feel better. And that’s the goal this year. To feel better.
And smile because it happened.