February arrives and this new month begins with bitter cold weather, heavy skies that sometimes feel as if snow will be falling soon and thoughts that this month brings me closer to spring time and perhaps some warmth and outdoor color.
These are the days when I really have to force myself to keep moving for all I really want to do is get on the couch and wrap a blanket around myself and snuggle for the rest of the day. Okay, I admit I do lounge around for awhile but then I realize I’ve got to get up and move and stretch.
I read in a book recently that exercise is a more powerful medicine than any drug. Any exercise that is strenuous will work. Walking briskly, riding a stationary bicycle, jumping jacks, dancing ten to fifteen minutes to music with a fast beat. Just get and put the old body in motion.
Moving is grooving and exercise pumps oxygen through our body and renews the brain and other organs. Flexibility also helps prevent the natural degeneration into stiffness that unfortunately comes with aging (Ugh!!).
For instance, it is freezing outside today but I know I will be taking the Metro to a couple of places for work related business and instead of standing on the escalator and allowing it to take me back to street level, I’m going to walk up the escalator as it is moving. I try to do this as much as possible and it really does get my heart pumping. I did it last Friday at the Dupont Circle station, one of the steepest escalators on the Metro line, and by the time I got up to the top of the escalator my heart was really pumping and my legs were starting to feel stiff. In other words, my body was telling me that I need to do it more often.
Here’s a mental image that I keep in my head as I go about my day: I may have layers of clothing on now; coat, sweaters, jackets and scarves; but it won’t always be that way. Pretty soon I will be peeling those layers off for good as the weather gets warmer and I’ll be wearing spring and summer clothes and I will wish, oh I will really be wishing, that I had exercised a little more in February.
Any kind of moving is better than no moving.
I am off to start my day and I hope you find some kind of exercise or aerobic activity that you enjoy and do it!