My elementary school was built in 1927.
It’s a beautiful Spanish style complete with a tower.
The 60’s saw additions that became the middle school classrooms and gym. And because it was the early 60’s the gym doubled as a fallout shelter.
It’s thick walls, low ceilings and lack of windows made for dingy digs. My strongest memory of this dungeon was changing for PE in the locker room down there.
My middle school years coincided with a much-needed upgrade in the PE uniforms. My 6th grade year saw a one-piece shorts jumper with a long zipper front. Ours was red but I found this picture below to give you a visual. I suppose that was an upgrade from any skirt/dress they must have had before but it was less than flattering, to say the least.
By 8th grade we eventually landed on the now ubiquitous unisex shorts and t-shirt with the school name on the front.
Decades later, that’s what my sons wear for PE, at least when they were in school in-person. Now that school’s at home, I’m in charge of their physical education.
I don’t make them change into matching outfits, but I do require them to actually move their bodies.
I started by explaining the benefits and asking them to take breaks to move. After that resulted in no movement whatsoever, I took matters into my own hands.
I started walking my boys.
I take them out 3 times a week for 35 minutes of walking the hills in the neighborhood. Make no mistake, it’s a forced march, but oh so necessary.
They say “sitting is the new smoking” and I understand why.
Inactivity is that bad for your health.
Loss of muscle, heart weakening, mood depression and ineffective hormone regulation are just some of the results of inactivity.
With the advent of the Internet and in the name of progress and productivity, people can get so much done while sitting in one place.
If we don’t need to move, we don’t.
That’s part of our DNA, energy conservation, but we’ve taken it too far.
If nothing else, in order to keep our brain available to do work we have to keep its container alive, healthy and strong.
Truth is, with my intervention, my boys are still shy of the recommended 60 minutes a day for kids. But I’ll take what I can get for now.
Adults have a different recommendation: 150 minutes a week.
Are you getting yours?
If not, please, please do.
Not only is it best for your health, but it’s the proven way maintainers maintain.
Here’s the beauty: It doesn’t have to be vigorous.
The adult recommendation is for 150 minutes of moderate exercise OR 75 minutes of vigorous (or a combo of both).
I highly recommend starting with walking.
Outside is best (sun exposure and fresh air do wonders on their own) but if you can’t I have a fabulous alternative . . .
Check out these YouTube videos: Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone
Leslie is mesmerizing. This woman is a master at motivating you to walk. The time flies by and you get your exercise in. She has all different lengths and speeds. Choose one that’s best for you. It’s the perfect way to start your exercise habit.
If you already have an aerobic component in place, the next step is to add resistance training with a goal of two times per week.
Resistance training is muscle building using things like free weights, bands, pilates, yoga or calisthenics. It prevents muscle loss, increases strength and quality of life and protects against weight gain and falls.
Exercise is key to health in general and weight loss maintenance specifically.
So wear whatever you like, but make sure to take yourself for a walk this week.