Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well, Can You?

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."
- Shira Tehrani
This one reminds me of the bumper sticker: "Eat right, exercise, die anyway."
I think this reflects a disconnect.  Yes, I hope that how I eat and how I work out will help me live longer - but the best reason to eat well and be fit is the benefit in quality of life I get right now, today, this minute.  I don't look at fitness as depriving myself now to have something good later - I look at fitness as the means by which to best enjoy all the other moments of life.  I don't think "the fit life" is the only way to enjoy life, but it is a way that works for me. 
I work with people several times a week who are struggling to stay out of the grip of diabetes, who are struggling to recover functional strength, who are struggling to build strength and functionality into weak backs and hips.  For those folks, the truth is they can exercise and eat well or they can be sick - that's an entirely different prospect. 
Where are you on the wellness continuum?  Can your back safely bear a moderate load?  Can you walk while bearing that load?  Can you set it down on the ground without injury?  Does your back, neck or knees hurt due to muscle imbalance and plain old weakness?  Can you sprint?  Crawl?  Throw?  Jump?  You should be able to do all of these things, but unless you do them, you won't be able to do them!  That means you lose capacity, you lose options for how you live, every day.  Humans were not made to be inactive and the studies show it - the positive emotional benefit of exercise is a virtual certainty for most if not all of us.
A life of unnecessary limitation is worse than living a short life.  Thoughtful eating and exercise is part and parcel of providing width and depth to life.

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