Partners in Wellness

"Why don’t I just do it when I absolutely know I should?" This question is undoubtedly on the minds of every person who has ever joined a gym and not gone, bought an exercise machine and used it as a clothes hanger, and vowed to create a healthier lifestyle only to find themselves sitting in front of the TV eating chips.  I’m 100% convinced that physical activity is crucial to health and it is my business to be healthy to promote healthly lifestyles.  Yet, last week my exercise behavior faltered…badly.  I had been doing great, hiking up the mountain for an hour three days a week with my friend Lois, Pilates class, dance rehearsals, lifting weights and tracking my progress on the Iditawalk with friend Chris.  I was enjoying it all and felt great to have this exercise thing down pat.  Then Lois got busy with a move, I had deadlines looming at the computer and missed my class and lifting, dance rehearsal was canceled and suddenly I went from an average of 2 hours of activity a day to virtually nothing—NOTHING!!  How could that happen? 

It confirmed two things for me, the power of partners in wellness, and the importance of just accepting the glitch and jumping back in. To stay on, or get back on track enlist the help of a friend, and start, with the smallest thing if necessary, but just START. 

My scheduled phone call with Iditawalk buddy Chris last night literally forced me out the door in the cold and the wind as I had promised her I would walk. Five minutes into the walk I had to face the wind so turned back. However, my goal was 20 minutes so I proceeded to walk around the oval in our driveway, forward when my back was to the wind, backward when I faced the wind.  I’m sure it was oddly entertaining to anyone watching.  Still only 12 minutes of activity so I went inside but continued moving.  I marched in place, did knee lifts, small kicks, etc. while I was folding cloths and picking up the house, and thought, I could do this any time I did housework and rack up plenty of activity minutes.

The point is, don’t allow a setback to be your new set point.  You’ve heard it before, make activity a part of your lifestyle rather than something you add to your schedule when it’s convenient. Start again, and again, and again no matter how many times it takes.  Commit to 5 minutes of activity and then stretch it to 10.  Instead of making household chores as energy efficient as possible think of ways to burn more energy.  Call a friend and ask them to check back with you at the end of the day and before you know it you will be back on track.  For great suggestions for staying on the nutrition track visit

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