Healthy Solutions for the Mind, Body & “Sole”

May 12, 2009

It’s a well-known fact that running is one of the best physical activities you can do for yourself.  And speaking from personal experience, it’s not as easy as it looks!  Not everyone has the dedication or endurance to lace-up a pair of shoes and run effortlessly for a few miles.  Plus good genes come into play and I wasn’t blessed with those.  I have to work hard to keep in shape and stay healthy!  But the good news is, the more you run, the easier it gets.

So let’s start with the basics and face the facts:  The number of obese people in the U.S. has dramatically increased each year.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, obesity research shows that the condition of obese increases with age. Around 28% of men and 27% of women aged 16-24 are obese.  And about 76% of men and 68% of women between 55 and 64 of ages are obese.  With those statistics, it’s no surprise that 63% of Americans are currently overweight!

There are a number of excuses as to why people don’t exercise enough.  I spoke with Steve at Planet Fitness’s Boca Raton location and he said, “The number one excuse why people don’t exercise is time.  They think there aren’t enough hours in the day.  As for our location, we tend to see a spike in business in the evenings and our busiest day hands-down is Monday.  It’s probably because people feel guilty for slacking over the weekend.  However, cost also makes people walk out the door.”  As a Planet Fitness member myself, I only pay $15/month and receive one complimentary session with a personal trainer; but the only downfall is that there are no classes.  It’s simply a straight-up gym.

And let’s visit another harsh factor – health insurance.  With the recession in full-swing the relationship between health insurance and unemployment becomes complex.  I was shocked to learn that with each 1% point rise in the national unemployment rate, the number of uninsured adult’s jumps by 1.1 million.

This statistic is alarming!

Since I can’t provide the entire unemployment population with jobs, I can provide some money conscience tips to staying healthy that I discovered along my journey.

  • Join a gym – Shop, shop, shop!  Take the time to shop around for competitive membership prices.  If your heart is set on one particular gym, try to negotiate a lower price.  And beware of contracts that lock you in for an extended period of time.  If you’re unsure, simply as for a complimentary one-week trial!
  • Shoes – Invest in your ‘sole!’  For the sake of your feet visit Foot Solutions and make an appointment for a free foot screening.   They use state-of-the-art technology to map the bumps and curves that make your feet unique, so that they can craft the ideal shoe inserts for your situation.  Some of their footwear even helps you shed more calories and achieve a more effective workout.
  • Take it to the Pole – No, not that pole…the Nordic Pole!  Nordic Pole Walking works 90% of your upper and lower body muscles. Pole Walking alone can increase calorie consumption up to 46-percent.
  • Monitor your Heart – Take your workout to heart!  Invest in a heart monitor to observe your intensity and keep it on track.  It’s like having a personal trainer nagging at saying, “Kick it up a notch” or “Let’s take bigger breaths and slow it down.”  Plus, you can view your results as you work out.  I purchased my monitor from Polar for around $70 which has definitely paid itself back.
  • Read it – Subscribe to a fitness magazine and surround yourself with positivity and stay motivated.  My favorite site is because they don’t tack on a delivery fee where other sites like Amazon charge you a few extra dollars.

I learned that if I was going to take my health serious and stay on a budget, I was going to have to make some major changes and make it a priority.  And although I’ve integrated exercising into my daily routine, I didn’t say it was easy.  There were times when all I wanted to do is eat ice cream all day and lay on the couch, but with time and persistence, anything is possible.

Bottom line: If you want to be healthy, you have to make it happen.  Take on the challenge to wear the hats and be your own nutritionist, personal trainer, and overall motivator.  When you feel good, you’ll bring out the happier, healthier you.  So my hat is off to you!

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