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Why Not Start Today!?

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Antionette MaraAntionette Mara

I have heard many times from people, even my doctor, that they are too old to exercise, they just don't like to exercise or they don't have time. There are many things in life that we don't like to do or have maybe put off until a later date even though we know its something we need to do right away. What keeps us from doing the things that we know will make us better? And, what is the secret sauce to get us doing those things? How many of us know now what we need to do and still choose not to do those things? Putting off until tomorrow, next Monday, next week, next month or even next year the things that will make us feel better today...

One of the groups I have worked with for over ten years has been a 12-week program for cancer survivors. At the point that I had begun to work with them, I wasn't sure what to expect, and not having had cancer myself, I wasn't sure how I was going to relate to them. What I found was that they were these amazing women who, by no fault of their own, had been diagnosed with an awful disease and their life had been forever changed.

What I also found is that they were all there because they wanted to feel strong and take back some of what the cancer had taken away. Overall, as a group, their strength was weak from treatment or inactivity, their self-esteem was low, and they had a desire to get back to feeling normal again.

In just a few weeks of eating better and exercising at least two days of moderate exercise a week, they all began to see strength gains, better balance, improved cardiovascular endurance and confidence in the gym setting. Those who chose to do more than our scheduled two days a week saw even better results. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see their confidence build when they relearned things that many of us take for granted, like getting up out of a chair without holding on or getting up off the floor without assistance. Their cancer treatment saved their life, but exercise and healthy eating, along with a fighting spirit, gave them their lives back. Our bodies are meant to move, and the more consistently we do that, the better off we are. I see that in myself, in my clients, in my coworkers and in my family.

People are fooling themselves by thinking that we still have time because we aren't on meds or haven't developed a life-threatening disease, but they are not realizing they've accepted a new normal with less energy and stamina, lowered self esteem, additional body fat and deteriorating health. They allow their health to diminish for no other reason than they stopped exercising and caring about what kind of calories are going into their bodies. Not even mentioning that the stronger we are, and the better health we are in, the better we are able to fight back if we do get sick.

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