The Importance and Benefits of Exercise

courtesty getty images As the wife of a collegiate level strength and conditioning coach I am constantly informed of the importance of living an active lifestyle. However, I did not realize how being sedentary could adversely effect my life until I read The Toll of Sedentary Living in chapter 5 of "An Invitation to Health" (Hales, 2009).

“Sedentary living claims some 250,000 lives, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths in America every year, and contributes to four of the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.” (p. 110)

Three of these risk factors cause poor health in my family or my husband’s family. While my husband’s biological risks do not directly impact my personal health, we are the parents of two boys, ages 17 months and 4 years. Hence, I am spiritually and intellectually motivated to change my fitness habits in order to promote a lifestyle of wellness to my children.

One of the dimensions of health is spiritual health. For me, good parenting goes beyond moral issues it’s a matter of faith. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he shall not depart from it.” (NASB) From my understanding of this scripture “train” means “to teach”. In most of my classes my teachers lead by example: most health and physical education teachers are physically fit; most English teachers use proper grammar; and most home economics teacher can sew. If I desire to raise good children as my faith instructs me, the insurance that they lead healthy, active lives comes from me leading one. My goal is to eliminate some of the predisposing factors of unhealthy behavior in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions (p. 15).

The intellectual side of my wants to be certain that as I live my life I take into consideration the information provided to me. As an African American my race alone predisposes me to certain risks. However, applying what I have learned will most likely increase my life expectancy.

Being physically fit should be more than a goal of aesthetic appeal, although it can be a mitigating factor. Fitness for a healthy lifestyle should be forefront in ones motivation for change as a continuous commitment unlike reaching a milestone of 20 pounds. In project management, once a milestone is reached resources are rallied around the next task at hand. However, in athletic performance – a lifestyle in itself – once a race is won training for the next begins.

Participating in a planned, deliberate exercise regimen promotes cardio respiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, healthy body composition, and functional fitness (p. 108). Exercise improves your mood, reduces psychological symptoms, and sharpens your thinking (p. 111). As a college student and a mother, I need all the extra brain capacity I can get.

Making the change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one benefits me physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially.

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Momma So Fine: Expand My Territory, Not My Weight

This morning I started reading "The Prayer of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson.  Its not my first time reading it.  I just need a refresher on how to increase something besides my ever-growing waste line.

My baby boy is 17 months old so the "baby fat" excuse no longer works.  I’m 5’6" and I weigh – I am so embarrassed to admit this – 176 pounds.  Fortunately, I’ve lost a whole pound since last week.  My other measurements are too embarrassing to post.  But, I will – later.

What I found this morning during my devotion time is my lack of accountability in the weight-loss arena.  For writing, I am in forums, writers groups, and social networks.  For my spiritual development, I attend church, participate in forums, and read my bible.  However, many of the people I deal with accept their current weight so they don’t struggle with shedding a few pounds like I am.

I’ve decided to start a weight loss group called Momma So Fine.  Before I was married, I was a diva.  Now, with 2 kids under 5 in tow it seems I have lost all of my diva-ish qualities.  I’ve traded 3 inch heels for flip-flops; designer purses for backpacks and diaper bags; and, it seems, my body for motherhood.  I’ve got to get it back.

This brings me back to my title.  In the book, Bruce talks about appointments that help you help others.  I truly believe this could be our appointment to help each other.  Let’s be accountability partners.  I’ll make the first step.

My Current Measurements

Weight Chest Right Arm Left Arm Waist Hips Right Thigh Left Thigh
176 38 13 13 35 1/4 43 24 1/2 25 1/8

 

My Current Goal

I figure if I can lose a pound a week, it will only take me about 41 weeks to lose 41 pounds.  Who knows, I may lose it quicker.  But my short term goal is to lose 10 pounds by October 8, 2008.  I know its only 8 weeks but with your help, I know I can lose 10 pounds.  So, how about it?

An Invitation for You

Earlier, I wrote that I had started a group called Momma So Fine. Its true and I would love for you to join me in my quest to get healthier.  If you join the group, you will receive weekly journal topics and customized journal pages.  You will also receive a weekly food log that you can print, fold, and place in your wallet to keep track of what you are consuming.  But most of all, you will get someone – maybe even a group of other women, who can encourage you to stay the course in reaching your desired goal.

You can start by using the box below to join Momma So Fine.  After you join, you will be able to download the 1st weeks Journal Pages.  So, hopefully, soon I’ll see you in a smaller pair of jeans.

If you look into the sidebar, you will see a place to join Momma So Fine.