Starting today and continuing on for the next 12 weeks, I'll be part of a group of inspiring women, coaches, nutritional experts, fitness trainers, and health and wellness companies that will be working together to get fitter and healthier — and maybe even lose a few pounds.
Actually, weight loss is not as much a goal for me as getting strong and staying healthy! I generally don't have a big appetite, and I've gotten the message about fatty, sugary foods and how they screw up your body, so my weight has been pretty manageable over the last 10 years or so. I actually trained for the Marine Corps marathon some years back, and like to think I would have finished it, had I not blown out my knees somewhere along mile 16.
Where I need help is in the strength department. I've never had much upper body strength, but isn't it about time I had the power to open a jar of spaghetti sauce without needing the help of a brawny guy? Besides, as I get older, I'd like to do what I can to ward off osteoporosis, arthritis, and other illnesses. Load-bearing exercise, like lifting weights and walking or running, helps build strong bones and muscle power. It sounds like it's worth the effort.
There's also the mental benefit that comes from aerobics. My 94-year-old dad is sharp as a tack, and I think it's due in large part to the fact that he played ice hockey from the time he could lace up his skates until he was into his 60s. He continued to walk a couple of miles every day until he turned 92. I don't plan on learning how to shoot a puck, but if I can get my heart rate up a bit, I know I'll feel more alert.
Here are mine:
First, I am going to complete the DVD-based P-90X "Beach Body" Program. I attempted the whole program earlier this year, and found parts of it (especially the yoga and the biceps-triceps routines) very difficult. As part of the "Go Green, Get Fit Challenge," I'm going to take on the whole P90X program again. This time, I promise not to use the fast-forward button to skip over the exercises I thought I couldn't manage before.
Second, I am going to aim for one very specific goal: I want to be able to do at least 5 underhand pull-ups on a chin-up bar. Remember what I said about no upper body strength? Right now, I can't even pull myself up off the ground one inch when I'm hanging at a dead weight. Will I be able to do 5 chin ups three months from now?
- In 2010, only 16.4% of women age 18 and older met the 2008 Federal Physical Activity Guidelines (US Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2012).
- Among women age 20 and older, the following are overweight or obese: 59.3% of non-Hispanic whites; 70.8% of non-Hispanic blacks and 75.1% of Mexican Americans (CDC, 2012)
- A 2008 Center for Disease Control study found a majority of American women overextended, depressed, anxious and isolated. (CDC 2008)
- One in three female adults has some kind of cardiovascular disease (CDC, 2012)
- Personal health and environmental health are intertwined and equally important, yet women often allow their personal health to take a back seat to other demands in their lives
What's your personal physical fitness goal? Let's reach our goals together!