How many people do you know who are alive – technically?
People who are still with us physically but are limited in what they can participate in due to health issues or physical impairment.
Unfortunately I know a few people like that – enough to know that I don’t want to live my life like that. I don’t want to live my life waiting for it to be over. I want to live my life. I want to see everything, DO everything. I don’t want to miss a minute with my loved ones – especially not because I didn’t take care of myself like I should.
I have great intentions for taking care of myself. I love to exercise, heck I even love to run for the block and a half that I can run before I’ve lost my breath (I can never figure out the breathing) and I enjoy many physical activities with my little family. But realistically, I’m in the same boat as a large percentage of Americans. I have a family, I volunteer my time in several capacities, I work too many hours and all too often I really am deciding between doing one more thing or getting a decent night’s sleep. It is far too easy to push taking care of myself to the back burner regardless of how much I desire something else.
That’s why I love Minute Movement. Aaron developed Minute Movement because he just wasn’t able to fit in time for exercise and he wondered what would happen if he started exercising while he was at work. What happened is that I noticed a difference in the way his body looked one morning a few weeks later and asked him what he was doing.
Now, even with all that we have on our plates, we stop every hour for one minute to give ourselves the gift of health. We fully intend to experience our lives in the state of being well – won’t you join us?
I turned 40 over the weekend. (Don’t worry, this story turns out okay.)
I’ve really been struggling with the pending rollover of a decade for the past year or so. I was consumed with all of the things that I thought I’d have accomplished by this point in my life (like becoming perfect) that I hadn’t accomplished, not really being in the ‘place’ that I pictured for myself, getting O.L.D.(er). Top those normal passage of years issues with the fact that this year my kids turned 16 and 13 – more big milestones – and when I look at them all I can see is my time with them slipping racing away and I just felt so sad.
Then I ran across this beautifully written post by Lindsey Mead that practically describes my very own life – and was exactly what I needed to start changing my mind.
I don’t have to be all dramatic about the passage of time – it’s going to pass anyway. Instead I can be grateful. I can be grateful for the wonderful people in my life, my material blessings, and my health (even if it’s not perfect – it’s more perfect than what other people are experiencing). I can be grateful for the time I have been given to live and to love and I can be grateful that I am still alive to turn 40.
This different mindset didn’t automatically make me happy to usher in a new decade but it has led me to some introspection (as much as I can indulge in while also starting a company, raising two teenagers, and living my otherwise busy life). Now that the ‘big day’ has passed I finally feel like I can relax again and I am beginning to look forward to this next stage of my life with anticipation and excitement .
Oh, and my awesome little family made my day so special. My daughter created something she called a ‘joystick’ that has ‘most’ of the great things about me (she ran out of room) and they organized a wonderful surprise party for me complete with a visit from my sister and niece – all the way from Georgia!
It is remarkable how one’s wits are sharpened by physical exercise. – Pliny the Younger
The mind/body connection is really sticking with me this week!
Tuesday I shared information about a study suggesting a correlation between midlife physical fitness and dementia in later life. Today I’d like to take a look back at our late teens and a study that ‘shows a clear link between good physical fitness and better results for the IQ test’, particularly ‘for logical thinking and verbal comprehension’. Of course, since the researchers looked at data from 1950-1976 they were also able to compare the results of the fitness tests (taken while the young men were participating in Swedish national service) to socioeconomic status later in life. Guess what – ‘Those who were fit at 18 were more likely to go into higher education, and many secured more qualified jobs.’ So exercise makes you successful? 🙂
I have read several other articles that indicate that being physically fit (and making sure our brains get plenty of oxygen) positively affects our intelligence. This certainly turns the old stereotype of the ‘dumb jock’ on it’s ear doesn’t it? Although I’ve known plenty of smart athletes in my time.
Incidentally, the study says that ‘youngsters who improve their physical fitness between the
ages of 15 and 18 increase their cognitive performance’ so if you have teenagers who are getting a little sedentary ask them to join you on your next walk.
(I could NOT find the actual study but one of the articles I used for my research is here)
I recently ran across this post on the UNC Health Care blog and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
A recent Finnish study shows a correlation between fitness at midlife and risk of developing dementia; ‘Study subjects who reported their fitness levels at age 50 as “poor” were four times more likely to develop dementia over the next three decades vs. those who rated their fitness levels as “good”.’
This really bothered me, mostly because I have witnessed how awful Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are – both for those living with the disorders and for their families. I currently have a friend who is courageously living with this type of disorder (yes, I like to hang out with people a few years my senior) and watching her fight for her words and independence breaks my heart.
I think that losing control of my mind and body in this way may be one of my biggest fears and even the slightest hint of ‘mom fog’ scares me to death. I’m just now entering the last leg before ‘mid-life’ and I could absolutely up my game with regard to my fitness level (so many excuses). So, I have to honestly assess my current habits and where following that road is likely to end up. If upping my fitness (and probably cleaning up my diet) will help me stay sharp as an octogenarian, then give me space so I can do my push-ups and pass the salad bowl pretty please (just don’t make me do Sudoku – I hate numbers)!
There is a tendency in our culture to expect maximum return with minimal investment.
Fast food … Texting … Weight loss … Love …
If something’s going to happen I expect it to happen NOW.
The Minute Movement® program won’t give you that. The focus of this program is not immediate, drastic transformation. While we completely recommend that you work to the point of burnout during each movement, we don’t want you pushing yourself to the point of actual burnout. The focus of this program is creating positive lifestyle changes that really are sustainable for the rest of your life.
The type of fitness program that results in 60 pounds of weight loss in 90 days are not typically sustainable for the rest of your life.
Well, for one thing they’re very time consuming. You are usually required to hit the gym for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days each week. While this type of program can be fun and rewarding and is completely doable when you’re single and work a 9 to 5 job – it doesn’t translate well to the way many of us are actually living our lives. Then you have the diet portion of these programs – which are typically very, very intense.
So, even if you are a person who can fit the workouts into your schedule and won’t have anyone complaining about chicken breast for dinner every night; you may still find yourself feeling exhausted or deprived and eventually reverting to old habits.
Minute Movement is about changing your life – and the way you look at your life. So, while you might not see miraculous changes every time you step on the scales (and we don’t recommend putting too much power in that number anyway) you can be confident you are creating positive habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life.