By Randy Snyder

Those of you who know me, know that I may appear somewhat obsessive about exercising and fitness! Therefore, I felt that the title is a worthwhile one that I hope readers will find useful and interesting.

The clichés and the axioms regarding exercise and fitness abound and here are just a few:

  • A body in motion stays in motion.
  • The body is a temple for the mind.
  • Motion beats meditation.
  • Exercise is the best prescription to reduce stress.
  • No Pain, No gain (not true!)
  • The more you do of what you do, the more you get of what you’ve got. (Doing nothing = no fitness!)
  1. Being fit has many interpretations and many definitions. The goal for those sedentary individuals with certain impediments to fitness is to keep moving!
  2. Be Realistic. It is important to be realistic about your expectations. What is your fitness level presently and what would be an improvement in your fitness, not expecting miracles? It is also important, especially for more “mature” individuals, to hold a candid discussion with your doctor about your program to improve your level of fitness. You need to embark on a program that can be done anywhere, not necessarily in a gym, but what is most convenient and comfortable – one that is enjoyable for you. If you don’t like doing it, you will not do it consistently for an extended period of time.
  3. Start somewhere. You have to begin if you are going to win. High priced fancy, technical and expensive equipment is not tantamount to improving your fitness. Some basic and reasonably priced easy to find versatile tools lending themselves to exercise are stretch bands (available in different levels of resistance), fitness balls (important to get in the correct size) and a long rod or stick, good for stretching (a shower curtain rod is excellent!). If you want to improve your strength level, you can begin by lifting cans right out of your pantry that have weight depending on your capability.
  4. Aerobic and Strength building both matter. Aerobic, endurance exercise again depends on your current level of fitness. If balance is a problem, you can walk in a swimming pool which eliminates or lessens injury when losing your balance. If you simply need to get moving, start walking by walking in appropriate terrain at varying times building from less to more over time. It is inspirational to observe people that have progressed from simply moving to playing pickleball at Rumbling Bald Resort, who are well into their eighties or late seventies and playing it with skill and enjoying themselves immensely. How encouraging is that?!
  5. Stretch no matter what you do. Realistically, once again, you need to logically determine where to start your program. A prelude to exercising or merely starting your day is to stretch which helps warming up the muscles you need to simply get through the day or your routine. Stretch bands can be used or simply using your body weight as the resistance that will gently get you ready for the day or a more vigorous exercise program.

I find it particularly interesting that the people I meet while exercising without fail are interesting, engaging and have a positive outlook on life in general. I believe it is because they have internalized to control their life by improving their fitness level as opposed to worrying about the many negative things that are pervasive in our world these days that we have no control over!

In closing, I hope I have given you a bit of inspiration and some sound, qualified advice combined with reasons to embark upon or elevate your fitness level. If in some way I have accomplished that for you, please let me know at: rsnyder921@yahoo.com.