Year of Leadership -- Fitness: Is it Realistic?

  • Published
  • By Col. Leslie Dixon
  • 341st Medical Group commander
Is fitness realistic? Is an abdominal circumference of 30 for females or 34 for males realistic? Is working out after work even possible? Is a David Beckham body in a Chris Farley world realistic? The answer to all of these questions is yes. Do you have to take Hydroxycut, eat a high protein and low carb diet to make it happen? Definitely not!

Fitness is a way of life. And generally speaking, we get to choose the path we follow. We have to choose fitness and it isn't always easy in a world of Burger King, beer and cigarettes. You have to choose to set your alarm fifty minutes early. You have to choose to use your PT time during the day and not to be too exhausted to peel up out of the chair. You have to choose to put your PT gear on as soon as you get home.

Maybe if fitness did not seem so hard to achieve we'd all do more of it.

"The goal here is to disguise your exercise," said Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., national spokesman for the American Heart Association's "Choose to Move" program. "We have, as a nation, overemphasized the value of structured exercise and underemphasized the value of lifestyle physical activity as a way to get more fitness into our lives."

Our society has become sedentary. The desk job workers outnumber the physical laborers. This means we are not burning as many calories and gaining weight.

Fitness is all around us. We just need to learn how to incorporate it into our lives. Use your children as weights lifting them up and down in play. Take your dog for a walk. Park far away and walk, or better yet -- ride a bike to work.

Whatever you do, don't try to cut corners. Taking over-the-counter products or flirting with every new diet to hit the Internet is not a healthy and lasting choice. In fact, these actions may well set you back. When you start to get discouraged, remember your ultimate goal is to be healthy. You did not become unhealthy or unfit overnight. So, give yourself time to change.

If you are not sure how to begin achieving your healthy goals come to the Health and Wellness Center. They offer a monthly class called "The Right Weigh," which will assist you in getting started. It is a two-part class where you can get expert information from the registered dietitian and exercise physiologist. To sign up or ask questions, call 731-4292 today. Let them help you make the right choices.