Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stay active. All your life! You can and should take a day off now and then though.

It's amazing what a day of rest can do!
I was feeling great on an easy trail run this morning. My body felt calm and relaxed.
Two days ago I planned to run 4 hours and invited Lalo to accompany me. Due to work he could only run for three hours though.We ran two and a half. Due to my fatigue. It was 100 degrees at 5 PM when we began but it was my legs that were the issue. After 5 miles they felt like huge tree trunks. Must have been the week of running and boot camp squats and lunges. The boot camps have been beneficial to my uphill running. I go all out at these boot camps but I have to remember to take it easy on the next day's workout or take a day off. I've got to keep going though. We all do. All our lives There is no time or age to stop being active.
At 63 years old my brother Andy just completed the "Possum Pedal" 30 mile bicycle ride in and around Possum Kingdom Lake. He has called me often to recount his experience since the event two weeks ago. Andy had laid off of riding for a few years but this year he set out to get back on the bike and ride again. His co-workers thought he was crazy. His boss warned him that there were many projects to complete and he was needed. Andy related all this to me and we laughed. What do they think? That we reach an age when we can't or shouldn't be active anymore? Nothing can be further from the truth in our thinking. Andy would call me and recount all his training rides and how he was not sore as he increased his mileage. We attributed that to his staying active in other activities like golfing, walking and going to the fitness center now and then. Also, his muscles had been trained for bicycling over many years. Andy has always been active. Running, playing tennis, and rode a bicycle for over 20 years. I rode with him on a regular basis for about 10 of those. We've been on our bicycles over roads and trails all over Texas.
We can all do what Andy did. At any age. Recently at a 10K road race where I volunteered a runner came through the finish line yelling out 76! 76! His age. On a four miler July 4th, I ran the last mile with a 74 year old Lady!
After the Possum Pedal Andy's wife said it is amazing that someone his age can do as much as he does physically. Amazing? Maybe.
How Andy's co-workers reacted to his intentions to ride a bicycle 30 miles worries me about the future of many americans. Many think that as we grow old we have to stop being active. That we can't run, bike, jump, Play! With the obesity epidemic getting worse this is not good. And now that obesity has been named a disease more people will give up even sooner in life.
I know a bit about being obese. My paternal Great grand mother was obese. My Dad struggled with his weight all his life. He inherited my great grand mothers physique. "The Maldonado curse" as a cousin dubbed it. We all have a trace of it. We are susceptible to a low bulging belly. My Dad took steps to manage his health and also to control and reduce his weight. Two of his siblings were overweight and died in their forties from complications of diabetes. All though no one would ever call him slim, Dad did lose and control his weight in his sixties and seventies. Diabetes crept up on him so he started walking everyday. Diabetes stayed away after that.
Dad proved we can make changes in our lives and we don't have to accept the conditions and illnesses we are predisposed to. And that we can become active at any age. He told me not to wait for disease to creep up on you but to stay active so disease will not catch you. Exercise has also been proven to be the best activity to keeping Alzheimer's at bay!
Take a day off now and then though. But don't forget to get back at it.

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