If I Was President

Put your hands in the air like you just don’t cair if you think I need some hair extensions, a guitar, single speed bike, and vid like this one. Why should Wyclef Jean be the only one to imagine being president?

My betrothed was thrilled to score a Thanksgiving dinner invite. Didn’t have to cook a turkey or interact too terribly much with the normal one. Early on one of the seven adults at the very nice dinner lamented that getting to the pool in the morning to swim was just “too complicated”. About every 45 minutes, no matter where we were in the conversation, we’d return to that theme usually in the form of my betrothed suggesting alternative activities to our unmotivated friend. For each suggested alternative she presented separate complexities. She was a reminder that it’s a lot easier not to exercise regularly.

It’s been almost four years since I shared ten suggestions on how to create an active lifestyle. Since you didn’t click on that link you won’t notice the overlap in what follows.

If I were president, I’d charm Congress into passing a law requiring every physically able adult to engage in an hour of cardiovascular activity before 8 a.m. Employers would have to push back early starts. Based on personal experience and a constant stream of research, one hour of exercise makes the remaining 15 lots better. Benefits include lower health costs, increased productivity, improved community, and increased well-being. Brisk uncomplicated walking, running, swimming, cycling, water aerobics, elliptical exercises, rowing, or any combination of those for sixty minutes.

I joked with our “too complicated” friend that Betrothed sleeps in her bathing suit to simplify her morning routine. The night before swim mornings I pack my backpack and toss my jammers where I get dressed in the morning. By wearing them under my pants, I save a good 45 seconds in the Y locker room. Too much info I know, but the larger point being . . .

1.) An efficient, successful morning exercise routine begins the night before. Organize your gear so you can almost sleep walk out the door in predawn darkness.

Other suggestions:

2) Gradually pull the plug earlier at night, turn off the tube, forget the foreplay, close the book, and go to bed early enough to compensate for the earlier start.

3) If going somewhere with lockers, consider renting one to simplify what you have to cart back and forth.

4) Start right outside your front door or make sure you can get to your gym within five minutes. I believe a lot of indoor exercisers would be surprised by how much more fun it is to be outside if they invested in some technical fitness duds and were forced to do it by say. . . El Presidente. Of course we’re spoiled in Olympia with excellent sidewalks, street lighting, and bike lanes.

5) Most important of all, find anyone similar in ability to exercise with. Mutual accountability + evolving friendships = much higher success rates.

This challenge is similar to decluttering—logical suggestions aren’t enough to tip the sedentary scale (pun intended). Unless our “too complicated” friend finds a training partner who she enjoys spending time with, suggestions 1-4 won’t make much difference. The conundrum is until a person is able to compare and contrast what it’s like to be out of shape and in shape, they’re unlikely to muster up the self-discipline to change their daily habits.

Try it. Pick something at least semi-enjoyable, invite a friend to enjoy you, and gradually build to one hour, six days a week, before the day starts in earnest. You won’t regret it.

For the serial sedentary among us, I’m going to hire the cast from a very good, but brutal movie Betrothed and I recently watched, Sin Nombre, to enforce the law. Better start now in case I’m elected on 11/6/12. Trust me, you don’t want those hombres knocking on your door asking what you’re still doing in your pajamas.

One thought on “If I Was President

  1. Professor:

    Precisely like a good sermon, this post seemed directed exactly at me.

    Brilliant advice to anyone who will heed it – I’m in!

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