By Victor S. Sierpina, MD
“Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” – Phillips Brook
For any of us to grow into a newer, better version of ourselves, we must accept challenges which by definition require us to stretch our limits, our boundaries into our unexplored possible selves. Just picture a toddler learning to walk. No longer comfortable with just crawling or cruising the furniture, he or she takes a tentative few steps and then, with a wide-eyed look of delight, plunks down on a soft bottom only to get up and try again. And again. Trip, stumble, fall, get up, get up, and then, miraculously, they just keep going until parents, grandparents, and other loved ones can barely keep up with the little speedsters.
This month, we take on the ever present and often daunting challenge of starting, expanding, or even just maintaining our physical activity. A report in the spring of 2015 by the Council on Physical Activity found that in the US, the rate of activity for those six years and older was the lowest in at least a decade. Twenty-eight percent of Americans in this study reported NO physical activity in the past year. In other words, they were totally sedentary. Only six percent of those over 70 were physically active.
It takes a surprisingly small amount of exercise, only about 150 minutes a week, to garner larger benefits in health. Perhaps an exercise buddy, a social media challenge, a wearable device to help you stay on track and motivated can help challenge you to move out of your comfort zone or sofa. Like that toddler learning to walk, you may slip and stumble a bit but with persistence, support, and healthful choices, we know you can grow into the miracle that is you.