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 Bonnie Stein

          Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.

Be a Frog Who Jumps

By Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.

Remember the story of the five frogs sitting on a log?  One decided to jump.  How many were left?  Still five.  Deciding to jump is not the same thing as jumping.  Deciding to start a fitness program is not the same thing as actually doing it.

So many people have good intentions, but they donít take the action thatís necessary.  I love Zig Ziglarís story about people who are going to take some action as soon as they get around to it.  Youíve heard these people make excuses.

ďI would exercise regularly, but itís so hard to get going around the holidays.  So many parties and all the relatives in town.  As soon as New Years is over, Iíll start back to my racewalking program . .  .  I know I should be racewalking, but this is such a cold winter.  Itís dark by the time I get home from work.  As soon as spring gets here and the weather is a little warmer, Iíll get back to my walking . . .  Well now, isnít this the rainiest spring youíve ever seen?  Every time I want to racewalk, it starts to rain.  Soon as the weather gets better, Iíll get back to exercise . . .  Well, you know summer is almost here and the kids are about to get out of school.  Thereís so much to do to get them ready for camp.  As soon as the kids are off to camp, Iíll have time to start back to racewalking . . . Whew, I just canít remember a hotter summer.  Itís way too hot to be exercising outside.  As soon as the weather cools off a bit Iíll get back to my walking . . .  You know, the kids are just about to get back to school.  I have so much to do with shopping.  As soon as the kids are back in school, Iíll have more time to start racewalking again . . .  You know, the holidays are just around the corner.  So many parties and all the relatives in town;  Iíll just have to wait till the New Year.Ē

Is there a perfect time to begin an exercise program?  Yes, the perfect time is now.  When I lived in Atlanta, we racewalked outdoors 95% of the year.  Now that Iím living in Florida Ė itís almost 100% of the year.  Yes, I racewalk outside even in 95 degree and 95% humidity in July.  Most of us can do it safely by carrying water.  When it was 25-30 degrees in Atlanta we layered up, wore gloves and hats, and racewalked anyway.  If itís hotter or colder than that, you can always racewalk on a treadmill.  Or find an alternative exercise such as aerobic classes in a gym or a video tape, or a stationary bicycle. One of my exercise physiology professors used to say, ďYou canít be fit only six months out of the year, when weather conditions are perfect.Ē  If youíre going to walk or run for fitness, youíve got to be able to figure out a way to do it all year long.

Itís not easy being fit.  If it were easy, everyone would be fit.  And we know that everyone is not fit.  More than 90% of the American population agrees that they should get more exercise, yet, research shows that less than 20% of the Americans exercise enough to make any difference in their fitness level.  What are those other 80% doing?  Theyíre making excuses for why they canít be more active.  Too hot, too cold, too humid, too rainy, too tired, too many kids, too much work.  Dr. Anthony Abbott of the Fitness Institute in South Florida says, ďFitness is not a commodity to be stored, rather a condition to be restored on a daily basis.Ē

How many of you think you have the time to exercise every day?  I asked that question to an audience of 200 recently and less than a dozen people raised their hands.  Then I asked, ďHow many of you could find the time if I paid you $100 for each day you were able to walk an hour?  Almost 200 hands went up.  Time is not the issue.  We all have the exact same 24 hours every day.  Priority is the issue.  Each one of us makes a choice as to where weíre going to spend our precious time.  Are you wasting away exercise minutes by watching TV, spending too much time on-line, chatting needlessly on the phone?

Everyone is always worried about gaining weight and getting out of shape during the holidays.  Yet, itís not so important what you do between Thanksgiving and New Years.  What really counts is what you do between New Years and Thanksgiving.  Make a decision to enter the new millennium with a renewed commitment to exercise and fitness.  Take action today.  Be the frog that gets off the log and JUMPS.

© 2007 by Bonnie Stein. All Rights Reserved.

LIMITS OF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMER - The authors and publishers of this newsletter have used their best efforts in preparing the articles and information contained within it. Additionally, you are advised to consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. The authors and publishers make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages.

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