Most people get motivated at the end of the year and either get a membership at a gym or get some type of fitness machine for home to lose weight. Unfortunately in most cases, very quickly the treadmill or elliptical or rowing machine in their bedroom looks more like a coat rack than a piece of workout equipment. Many people struggle to commit to and keep up with a regular exercise program, because they want immediate results to lose their 20 pounds overweight, they managed to put on over the past 20 years.
However, often, they’ve got legitimate reasons for skipping those workouts.
“The sandwich generation is real, and a lot of my clients are trying to handle a parent with disabilities or cognitive decline, not to mention taking care of their own children or even grandchildren,” says Dr. Elizabeth Frates, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and director of wellness programming for the Stroke Research and Recovery Institute at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. “They may also be at the peak of their career and have a lot of wonderful opportunities coming their way to lead or take on more responsibility at work, and all of this can be overwhelming.”
People that can’t make or don’t want to make time for physical activity are like runaway trains heading for the train station, and their crash and burn is inevitable. This becomes more realistic when they can’t function anymore at an early age because of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or maybe sudden death. I often hear about these cases and only last week a friend of mine died at the age at 50 from a massive heart attack. So what’s the upside here? Climb the walls of success in society until you become totally disable or dead and leave your children to never know their parent?
“Even though you might know intellectually that exercise should be a priority, too often it winds up at the bottom of the to-do list, under an avalanche of other tasks that seem far more pressing. But truthfully, there are few tasks more pressing than protecting your health,” says Dr. Frates.
After all, you can’t really do any of the things you want or need to do — including taking care of others — if you aren’t well. “Women in general often feel selfish to take time for themselves, but self-care isn’t selfish at all,” she says. “It helps to put ourselves in the best physical and mental shape possible to take care of all the others in our lives.”
It can be a big challenge to make that leap from wanting to start exercising regularly to actually doing it. Success requires some changes to the way you think and behave.
© Copyright – Hector Sectzer