I decided to start this health and training column as a way to help our community become more attune to the epidemic of obesity, laziness, and apathy towards poor health.  According to an article by the LA Times, the worldwide obesity rate has almost doubled since 1980.  The United States currently has the highest BMI or body mass index.    I am not a personal trainer.  I am not a dietician.  I am just a person who has been physically active ever since my legs could hold me upright and I could start running around terrorizing our family dogs, Roscoe and Jasper.  I played baseball from the time I was three all the way through my senior year in college at Belhaven.  From there, my sole focus started on the next "challenge" I could find.  That next challenge is endurance sports.  I am a triathlete.  I have been called "the most competitive person ever" along with "crazy" and "psycho" when it relates to physical activity.  I take pride in this because I am incredibly competitive and I love measuring myself against the previous day.  The US Navy Seals have a saying, "The only easy day was yesterday."  In a sense, I love to train.  I love to swim, I love to bike and I love to run.  Put those three together and it gets my blood boiling for the next race.  I am not saying that you need to be like me, this is who God made me.  I am just trying to provide help to our community help reverse the downward trend towards physical activity.  So with that here is the first entry in the Triathlon Training & Fitness Column.  

#1 Do it to it   My triathlon training partners in Lubbock and I always had an abbreviated saying of "do it to it."  It basically means, get up, get moving, meet your next goal/challenge/time.  For you, it might be to be able to walk a mile.  It might be able to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day with natural energy.  It might be to run an Ironman.  Whatever your goal might be, it all starts as soon as YOU choose to get going.  The hardest and best part of anything related to fitness is that first step.  When a thought translates into motivation and leads to the first step to "do it to it."   Here are some easy ways to start your transition to becoming a healthier person:  

Take the stairs. 
Avoid the elevator regardless of what floor your office is located.
Ride a bike to work (weather and safety permitting)
Take your kids for a walk in the park. 
If you don't have kids, take your dog. 
If you don't have a dog, take a stroll around the neighborhood. 
The best time is always the hour before dusk.
Go throw the football with friends.
Play tag with your children.
Go for a jog.  At first, don't time yourself.  Just go.  Remember what it is like to just run.  Go until you can't run.  Then walk.
During breaks at work, stretch.  Stretch your arms, back, legs.
Go play basketball at the nearest gym/park/school.  

These are just a small number of activities that you can do to get your heart rate elevated.  We will talk about heart rate at a later time.  For now, just do something that will get blood pumping again!  At first, if you haven't done any physical activity in a long time, go slow.  Let your body adjust to whatever goal you are trying to accomplish.  Most of all, when you are starting out, find a goal or motivation.  It could be to fit back into jeans you wore 5 years ago that are still in the closet.  It could be to be a role model for your children as they grow.  It could be to feel better about yourself and gain self confidence.  Whatever it is, start doing something and keep that close to you as you progress!    This is just the start of a series that I will write on a weekly basis.  We will look at diet, exercising, goal making and any/everything that pertains to physical activity. And as always remember, "The journey is better than the end" - Cervantes.  

Good luck on your first step to becoming a healthier you!   -Colin McElroy  

Before starting any exercise, diet or health routine, first consult your physician to make sure that your body is healthy enough for physical activity.  

LA Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/03/news/la-heb-worldwide-obesity-20110203
BMI http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/

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