How is it that the healthiest country in the world can have billboards encouraging us to do things such as walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator? Doesn’t this suggest that we need inspiration for making it up a flight or two from the ground floor? Same goes for pulling the weeds. Is this too hard as well? If we aren’t pulling our own weeds or raking the leaves right now, who is? The servants? In a very few instances maybe, but not many of us are that wealthy. In a healthy nation, how can it be that we are being coaxed into taking the stairs, or “doing” the gardening? It must be that fewer and fewer of us are doing anything active anymore. Why else? Granted there are more health club members than there were 10 years ago, but its questionable whether any of those has the courage to break a sweat when working out. Its also unclear how many actually stay with just showing up for longer than a year. The number of those who sign up is drastically different than the number that are still with it after a year. In fact, this number decreases in less than three months, which is the reason for keeping a sales staff on board. Yet, there are those who last beyond the critical fall-out dates. For those who do, they are generally taken less seriously than their more fashionable counterparts. Maybe that’s because being dedicated sounds too “gung ho”. It suggests a set routine,probably on the machines occasionally interspersed with cycling. If there is a pool, the lifting may be augmented with swimming. Seldom are any of the routines “weights only”. There is still too much of fear of becoming a musclebound dumb jock. That really would be too “high school” for the “with it” American. Nowadays a few folks routinely go about their daily activities, either cycling or running to stay fat free. If they keep their mouths shut about it, they can pursue their workouts in doors without being labeled as a “health nut”. The neighbors can’t nail them like they could for jogging (in shorts etc) ten years ago. That's a plus, but its not good enough. People have to be incognito for it to work. That's the only way to avoid criticism for doing the right things. Its a sad commentary on our country if the only way to stay at a training routine is to be secretive—secretive about something that would be good for everyone. Having a few folks wish you well as you stride past them is somewhat the same as getting cheered like Rocky (assuming you've seen Rocky I), running through the streets of New York in preparation for his first big fight. That's what should be happening along with an ever increasing number of few couch potatoes getting off their couches each week. This is exactly what we'd like to see all of the time. That might actually be enough to make everybody stay at it 7 days a week (like brushing their teeth). This means inspite of rain, snow, not enough time, etc If it happened that MsD’s and my efforts got a few folks started on the right track, it would be good. But good is not “awesome”, we’re sure you would agree. We should all want to see a large percentage of runners in work out shorts and tank tops building up their stamina and bodies, while a smaller percentage of couch potato neighbors applaud in genuine envious respect. Right now it’s the other way around. The aspiring marathoners (“health nuts”) get laughed at not only by arrogant couch potato strangers, but also their pear shaped friends, relatives and neighbors! That's why the healthy people are better off in doors. We want to see an end to the “health nut” label. It’s what makes it possible for aging “normal folks” to ridicule health conscious “forever adolescents”. The ones who get ridiculed are the very people who take care of their own bodies and indirectly but very positively affect the health of the people around them. For this they get called “health nut”? In-shape people are better to be around, more reliable, optimistic and just plain fun. We aren't even pro-prejudicial about it. They just are. You can see this for yourself and, if you are a couch potato we really hope that you take notes. You will see that your “health-nuts” don’t spend as much time in the hospital, if they ever get there at all. Further, they lack your cynicism and “witch cackle” laughter. If you don’t know this, you don’t know any dedicated healthy people and you can't hear your own “just-jokings” This is where things are today. They must stop before the start of “sometime soon”. Every day that the “health nut” has to call himself that, while remaining in the persecuted minority, there will be more diabetes, more heart trouble and more unsightly fat. There will also be more broken commitments to oneself over daily workouts, or broken friendships that get in the way of daily workouts. The former happens when you start acting your age to spend more time with your friends; the latter when one rightly say “No friend would make me feel bad for doing what is good for me”. None of us want either of these. Yet they happen all of the time. Why should anyone object if his best friend or spouse started working out? MsD and I think that its partly because they know that the “health nut” will be exerting himself, meaning that the reasonable one won’t. Thus its somewhat a thing of folks getting parent-like. They think that by discouraging others from sweating, escalating their heart and respiratory rates they are actually helping others to prolong their lives. That’s because R & R is what the American good life is all about and if its American it must be as good as gets when it comes to healthiness. MsD and I disagree. We don’t think that hard work makes you wear out, but we do believe that the life of ease makes you rust out. That’s why we love working out, being energetic. Doing so leads to a good night’s rest and more energy the next day (to say nothing of an enviable body). But those sentiments are not shared by most people. If they were, they’d be “vigorously doin’ ” instead of “always takin’ it easy”. That most surely is not the norm. Without asking everyone we meet (or doing an extensive study), we have to assume that they don’t “know any different”, ie. they don’t know any better. Of course, they think that they’re doing the right thing because that’s what the doctor said or what all of the ads on TV imply. Besides their parents were much the same and they didn’t die early. They both made it to at least 75. So maybe there you have it. How much more justification does a person need? Clearly 99.999% of these folks all looked pear-shaped and burned out since their forty-fifth birthdays, but there’s nothing wrong with that presumably. They made it to a “ripe old age” and that's all that presumably matters. These folks were the product of being forced to “take it easy” on a daily basis. That may not sound reasonable, but that is the way it is. There have been no other options for them. Say “I refuse” when told to “Take it easy” and you will see what we mean. Step out of line with a health club membership that you actually use every day or a regular morning run and you will find yourself in trouble. If you aren’t amiably called a “health nut”, you will be warned against overdoing it and encouraged to act your age. All of this is done in your best interests, of course. The problem is that it results in some strange and upsetting realities. Because of the need to eradicate exercise from the “good life”, the great USA has become predominantly populated by overweight and untoned citizens.
I live in St Paul, Minnesota and can be seen every morning around 6:00 AM at the Anytime Fitness in a nearby suburb. I'm concerned with fitness for baby boomers, largely because I am one. But others can benefit as well. I was obese 45 years ago, took 15 years to win my one and only athletic trophy, but am currently able do more athletically than when on the swim team in high school. I am living proof that you can get better with age. The same can be true for you.