This week marks the start of school for many counties in my metro area. It also marks the deadline I’ve set for myself regarding getting back into some sort of regular fitness routine. I haven’t been working out regularly for close to six months, and I’m definitely starting to feel the effects, which are no doubt amplified by the fact that I sit at a desk for seven to 10 hours each day during the work week.
I had the best of intentions at the beginning of the summer. My family and I moved to a new neighborhood with lots of sidewalks, so I promised myself I’d get up early every morning and walk for 30 minutes. That lasted for about two weeks. (I work from home, and so the allure of sleeping in while I had the chance overtook any desire I had to get moving that early in the day.)
I then attempted to alleviate my inactive state with short bursts of activity in between work-related tasks. Once I checked something off my to-do list, I’d do a set of squats, lunges, crunches, or tricep extensions. That made me feel slightly less lethargic. Then came vacation. Aside from several paddle board excursions, I spent most of my time floating, eating, and reading. I was definitely taking in more calories than I was burning.
And so the summer ended with nary a fitness regimen in site. My resolve to get back to a regular routine has been strengthened, however, thanks to a study that puts the healthcare costs associated with physical inactivity in the U.S. at between $27.8 billion and $67.5 billion. Researchers discovered that 22 diseases and conditions were directly linked to lack of physical activity.
That’s insane! Think of how much healthier the entire nation would be if we just got out from behind our desks for 20 minutes every day. I certainly don’t want to contribute to that statistic. Nor do I want my daughters to see me lapsing into physical lassitude, and so I am now contemplating joining a gym around the corner – someplace centrally located so that I can pop in before or after school drop offs and pickups. I’ve written before about being a bit of a gym rat and have come to the conclusion that I’m much more inclined to work out if I’m paying for the privilege to do so. Some might call me crazy, but that’s just the way I roll.
While January 1 is five months away, I suppose it’s never too soon to make self-improvement resolutions. Getting back into the swing of things – be it school activities or extracurriculars – is a great opportunity to put resolutions into practice. And so, dear readers, you are my accountability partners. I resolve to become more physically active and, in light of the study findings mentioned above, I hope you will too.