Friday, February 24, 2006

What does it take to get off the couch?

Learning about the benefits of exercise is always a nice, validating feeling. There are, for instance, studies that show that the benefits of running around like a maniac on the weekends and during my summers may extend beyond the obvious ego boost. When coupled with the information that cardiac risk is improved by exercise, it just seems to make sense.

So why are so many people still on the couch? I was humbled recently to take a fitness test and to learn that for all my running around, I'm still at the very low end of "moderate fitness" or the high end of "low fitness" in most fitness tests which means, holy cow, that the people I see walking around me every day, who sit when they can stand, drive when they could walk, are practically walking dead.

I don't say this becuase I have some sort of superiority complex. I don't. I'm just wondering why people do nothing so often. I watched helplessly as my mother sank into heart failure and then died amazingly young (61). She never exercised; she was overweight most of her adult life and nothing could get her to exercise. Now, for me, I got tired of being so weak and fat, and the knowledge that I didn't want to leave a huge gap in someone else's life the way my mother's death left a gap in the lives of my father, sister, and me.

But that's just me. What does it take for people to get off the couch?

By the way, I don't mention this often, but I have two master's degrees. So I get a little paranoid when I'm perusing the articles about exercise and read things like, "Higher education may be tied to faster Alzeimer's decline". Hopefully, any negative effects of my brush with being a professional student will be offset by becoming a triathlete, since "Exercise and Heart Health May Keep Dementia at Arm's Length".


  1. Got your message-- That's funny that you used to live out here in north Texas. Now you're in New Mexico? I love it here so far (first year). I live out in Wylie, which I love. The town is growing, it's close enough to my work and everything else, but I can also see the stars in my backyard. We moved here from Seattle, so we are loving the warm weather and Dallas in general.

    I love your blog BTW.


  2. Your amazing journey is great to read about. I have gone from being one of those walking dead to where I spend some time on the treadmill every day. Still a long way from running in any races! Keep up the progress!


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