How Active Will Your Retirement Be?

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By Andrew Atkinson

seniors2When you picture an ‘old man’, how do you visualise him? You’re not alone if your initial image is of a wrinkled, grey-haired figure in his slippers, sitting on a chair and watching TV or shuffling into the kitchen for a nice, hot drink. We’ve come to understand old age not as an opportunity but as a prison sentence, almost. Many people believe that retirement is about winding down, slowly becoming less and less capable, eventually becoming reclusive…

Is the stereotypical ‘old person’ image really true?

Not only are we thinking negatively and inaccurately when we visualise old people as immobile ‘vegetables’ in rocking chairs, we’re also thinking in a damaging way. A majority of people believe that old people shouldn’t be exercising – that being active can cause damage, or that an active lifestyle simply isn’t realistic – whilst the reality is very different. In fact, research and experience have shown that continued sport and activity through the retirement years continues to prolong lifespan, keeps the mind sharp and will lead to increased health and wellness. Essentially, the more you exercise, the more exercise you’ll be able to do!

If you believe that older people shouldn’t be exercising, and if you decrease your activity level as a result, then the myth becomes self-perpetuating as your body becomes incapable due to a lack of maintenance.

Why, then, do we see ‘old people’ as being incapable?

Becoming a stereotypical old person is one possibility. The image isn’t a complete lie, and there are some elements of your health and fitness that unfortunately are out of your control. What’s interesting, though, is that many people can change their own abilities.

If you don’t use your brain, or a certain part of it, then slowly an ability will fade. You’ll have experienced this if you learned a language at school and then stopped practicing once you left. If you try to speak in a foreign language that you used to know, can you recall it well enough to hold a conversation?

As we age, our brains are more prone to forgetting as the cells starts to wear down. If you don’t test your brain regularly, it will slowly start to give up. Doing puzzles, playing games and socialising are all ways to keep your mind sharp.

Your body is the same. Your muscle mass and fitness level can be maintained, or at least the degradation can be slowed, by keeping up your exercise regime. If you stop trying to be active, you’ll soon lose the ability.

Undoubtedly your body will have different limits at 80 than the limits that it had when you were 20 years old, but it’s important to keep testing those limits and to simply adapt your exercise to suit them. Some older people continue to run marathons, but if you’re not capable of a marathon then it is far better to go on a walk or to enjoy an afternoon of swimming than to assume that you’re ‘too old’ to keep working on your fitness.

Older people should not be seen as incapable, but it is certainly worth bearing in mind that capabilities might be different. Maintaining a good level of activity throughout your life is the best way to ensure that you’re starting from the best possible position when you reach your retirement years. If you’ve led an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle then you will reach retirement age with a body that is already unable to handle a busy lifestyle, but with a good foundation there will be no reason that you can’t be an active older person – even if you end up needing a walking cane for your visits to the park, and a foot spa for relaxation at the end of the day!

Andrew Atkinson is a director of the Mobility Smart team, a UK based online retailer of mobility and many other assisted products. Andrew has a real passion for mobility products and has written numerous articles offering his advice on how to make living easier.

Top 5 Healthy Reasons To Take An Active Travel Vacation

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

momdaugtherbikeStudies Show That Active Travel is No Longer a Luxury, but a Necessity for a Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

As the leader in active travel, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations has successfully operated bicycling and walking tours throughout the world for over 44 years, creating culturally immersive experiences for American travelers. With numerous studies showcasing the health benefits of an active vacation, VBT President Gregg Marston, an avid cyclist, walker and traveler, has compiled a list of the top five healthy reasons to book a trip that will benefit your mind, body and spirit.

1. Social Health – According to the Global Coalition on Aging, group travel builds social ties, which studies have suggested helps nurture interest in life-long learning. With a small-group design, VBT tours deliver authentic personal interactions. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic lunch at the home of a Spanish family on the way to Cordoba or the warm encounters with local families during home-hosted lunches and dinners, group travelers share wonderful memories that will linger long after returning home.

2. Brain Health – According to Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP, travel promotes brain health and builds brain resilience. Preventive Medicine found that people who cycled frequently benefitted from improved mental well-being. While traveling with VBT, learning experiences are endless from a private cooking class at one of Hoi An’s most popular restaurants to guided tours with local experts in Cesky Krumlov and Pompeii, wine tastings in Bordeaux, and demonstrations with artisans on the Croatian island of Brač.

3. Lowering Health Risks – Active travel is proven to lower many health risks such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, depression levels and more, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Furthermore, staying active and traveling throughout life has physical, cognitive and social benefits that lead to a healthier aging process according to the US Travel Association. Offering an easy-to-moderate pace, each VBT traveler can create their own activity level with the flexibility to stop along the way to enjoy a glass of wine against a backdrop of rolling hills of Tuscany or the swaying Cypress trees in Provence.

4. Spirituality – Beyond the excitement of new discoveries, travel offers the opportunity to enrich and transform one’s perspective. A stroll along verdant gardens in Capri, a peek into the historic chapels in Bellano or a bike ride along Lake Champlain opens the mind, exhilarates the senses and refreshes the spirit immeasurably.

5. Necessity over Luxury – Nearly half of Americans agree that travel is not a luxury, but a necessity according to Plus, surveys from the Global Coalition on Aging show that after being on a vacation for a day or two, 89 percent of people are able to leave the stressors of work behind and relax. That’s a major reason why 98.6 percent of VBT’s guests plan to travel again with VBT due to the fulfilling experiences they enjoyed during their active vacation.

In addition to numerous health benefits, VBT travelers will be fully immersed in their destination. All VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations are led by local Trip Leaders who provide insight into the region’s customs and traditions, as well as help facilitate authentic cultural experiences. Continually recognized as the best value in active travel, VBT’s tour prices include all accommodations, use of custom bicycles or walking poles, many meals, two expert local trip leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and on-tour vehicle support.

Travelers looking to reach healthy goals on vacation can save up to $300 on select departures by using the code VBT1505 when booking now until February 6. To request a catalog or reserve a VBT active vacation, visit or call 877-395-5290.

About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

VBT offers 49 deluxe, small-group bicycling and walking tours in 25 different countries, including destinations throughout Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities and on-tour vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes roundtrip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations. In 2014, VBT was rated by the readers of Travel + Leisure among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” for the fifth consecutive year.

Tips For Keeping Kids Active This Fall

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article…..Please share your thoughts in the comments section…..

momkidsrunAs the temperatures get colder this fall, it’s easy for kids to gravitate towards indoor and less active activities, it’s important to keep them moving, find out how.

The times, they’re changing, and it’s becoming even more difficult to keep kids engaged, happy, and well out of our hair. This can be especially hard when the cooler temperatures of Autumn and Winter set in, driving kids and adults alike indoors. Many people have used their friends: television, computer, and tablet as a distraction for children when they need 30 minutes of peace.

As parents, it’s not always easy, but are kids being exposed to too much technology? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children spend an average of 7 hours a day using media including television, computer, internet, video games, and cell phones. In an ever growing media driven world, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your child is getting active every day.

So, how can children be encourage to get active? Show them that being active is fun. Exercise as a family by going for a nightly walk, jog, or having a family soccer game in the back yard. Getting children involved in activities outside of the home, (like The Little Gym) to help them appreciate a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come. Whether running, jumping, or tumbling, get moving with children to build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits.

Active Older Women Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE

seniors2According to a Reuters story that highlighted an American Cancer Society (ACS) study, older women who take regular walks are less likely to get breast cancer than their less-active peers.

ACS researchers studied 74,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 74 who walked for at least one hour each day. The found that they had a 14 percent lower chance of getting breast cancer than infrequent walkers. More vigorous exercise was tied to an even lower risk.

The study began in 1992, which asked women to report on their health, medications and exercise habits. They also reported how much exercise they got in 1999, 2001 and 2005. Between 1992 and 2007, about 6.5 percent of all women in the study were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who walked at a moderate pace for at least seven hours each week were 14 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to those who walked for three hours or less each week. And women who exercised more vigorously for at least seven hours per week were about 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to women who participated in those activities less often.

It is important for older women—and men—to exercise in the home. Home aides, working with the healthcare team, can create an exercise regimen that keeps people active. Our workers are trained to help seniors with walking and exercise.

By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE, President of Assisting Hands® Home Care Naperville/Hinsdale

Staying Active As You Age

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seniormanAging is a natural part of life. As we age, the importance of taking good care of our bodies becomes increasingly necessary. Seniors are much more likely to suffer from chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 92% older adults suffer from at least one chronic condition.

Fortunately, staying active and making a point to engage in regular exercise can help lower the risk of developing some conditions, including: diabetes, depression, obesity, coronary artery disease and many cancers.

Aside from helping to reduce the risks of chronic conditions, physical activity can also:

• Improve cholesterol, blood pressure and heart failure symptoms
• Strengthen joints
• Reduce fatigue
• Improve sleep
• Improve short-term memory
• Lower the risk of hip and spinal fractures

It’s never too late to start getting active, and frequent exercise can help you lead a healthier, longer life. The following tips will help you.

• Consult your physician. Be sure to talk to your physician before starting a new exercise routine. Your physician can confirm that you don’t have any pre-existing health problems that may impact your exercise plans.

• Choose activities that you enjoy. Exercising can be fun. You’ll be more likely to stick to a routine if you enjoy it.

• Take it slow at first. Choose a low impact routine to start, and gradually work your way up to about 30 minutes a day. Beginning your routine with only a few minutes of activity is fine.

Listen to your body and make smart exercise choices. There is no need for your routine to include rigorous, high-impact activities. Pay attention to your body – if you become dizzy or have trouble breathing, be sure to rest.

seniors2Exercise will:

• Aerobic exercises can strengthen your heart and give you more energy.

• Strengthen your bones, muscles and joints. Good exercise options for doing this include lifting weights, walking and dancing.

• Improve your muscle and joint flexibility and motion by incorporating stretching into your routine.

Put your health first. Even a moderate amount of daily physical activity can provide great health benefits.

– Submitted by Kelsey Grabarek. This information was provided by Northshore University HealthSystem, comprised of hospitals in Chicago and the surrounding area.

Living Well With Diabetes: The Good Foods And Active Lifestyle To Keep You Healthy – Part 2

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By Kevin Fritz

diabeteswordContinued from part 1 of this article…..

She points out that while few foods are off limits to a diabetic, simple carbohydrates (e.g., white rice, white bread) should be avoided. Complex carbohydrates don’t raise the blood sugar as mush as simple carbohydrates, they digest slower, and give the body fuel. Proteins help keep your blood sugars stable. She stresses that patients need to get into the habit of reading labels on the foods they purchase, especially the amount of carbohydrates. “It adds up very fast,” she says. “The brain only needs 150 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive. “

Dr. Mazza puts few restrictions on exercise as well. She recommends 150 minutes a week, especially incorporating resistance training (bands), which has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Resistance training builds muscle, which is what burns glucose during exercise.

“The more you move the better,” she says. “It burns energy, which increases insulin sensitivity.”

Dr. Mazza says doctors can now customize each patient’s treatment plan to meet their individual needs. There are early detection markers, so in many cases, full onset of diabetes can be prevented. And if the disease does progress, doctors are now able to prevent many complications that once had life-altering consequences. Keith Davis, who has been in Dr. Mazza’s care for the past two years, is an ideal example of a patient whose treatment plan is working well.

“I’m on the other side,” he says. “My blood count is going down.”

Regardless of medical advancements, however, diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly.

“Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined,” says Dr. Mazza. “The potential for debilitating complications increases exponentially when the disease isn’t properly managed.”

healthyheartbpDr. Bernard Gros, a cardiologist who also practices at UCF Pegasus Health and teaches at the UCF College of Medicine, says the two highest risk factors for cardiovascular disease are smoking and diabetes.

In fact, heart disease and stroke are the two main causes of death or disability in people with Type 2 Diabetes. According to the America Heart Association, 65 percent of men and women with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.

– Kevin Fritz is a freelance writer and communicator in Orlando, Florida.

About Angela Mazza, D.O.
Dr. Mazza is an assistant professor at the UCF College of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Her clinical interests include diabetes prevention, early detection and individualized disease management. Dr. Mazza sees patients at UCF Pegasus Health, the faculty physician medical practice of the UCF College of Medicine.

About UCF Pegasus Health
As part of the UCF College of Medicine, UCF Pegasus Health was developed as a way to provide individualized, multidisciplinary health care based on the latest medical advancements. Staffed by faculty physicians, patients can receive primary and specialized care at our medical facility located at 3400 Quadrangle Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Specialties include sports medicine, internal medicine, endocrinology, cardiology & cardiovascular testing, geriatrics, rheumatology, neurology and nephrology. For more information call (407) 266-DOCS or visit

Living Well With Diabetes: The Good Foods And Active Lifestyle To Keep You Healthy – Part 1

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By Kevin Fritz

diabeteswordKeith Davis has been living with type 2 diabetes for the past two years. When the Orlando man was first diagnosed, he was surprised on two accounts.

“It just kind of showed up,” he says. “It also took me a while to realize what a responsibility and obligation it was to treat it.”

Mr. Davis is not alone—not by a long shot. Twenty-six million people in the United States are living with diabetes, making it one of the most common chronic diseases for all age groups.

While we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, being overweight is a risk factor, and family history, ethnicity and age play a part. Doctors also know that increased economic stress can be a major contributing factor. When people are worried about their jobs or are out of work, those with genetic predispositions or health conditions that lead to diabetes tend to become more insulin-resistant.

“Obviously, we can’t change our genetic markers, but most people can make simple lifestyle changes that help reduce the risks of developing Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes,” says Endocrinologist Angela Mazza, who practices at UCF Pegasus Health—the physician practice for the University of Central Florida College of Medicine—and an assistant professor at the UCF College of Medicine. ”Some of the changes include reducing the amount of sugar in our diets, adding exercise to our daily routines, managing stress and getting regular checkups to monitor blood glucose levels.”

diabetesglucoseThat means that living with diabetes has become much easier for people like Keith Davis, even at meal time. A healthy menu, for example, is the same for a diabetic as it is for anyone who eats healthy: low fat, moderate salt and carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. For many, so-called diabetic foods have become a thing of the past.

Dr. Mazza advises her patients to eat three meals a day, plus snacks, but limiting the carbohydrates and portion sizes. She recommends:

• 30-45 grams of complex carbohydrates at meal time
• 15 grams at snack time, such as banana
• Include protein with each meal

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article later on today……

– Kevin Fritz is a freelance writer and communicator in Orlando, Florida.

About Angela Mazza, D.O.
Dr. Mazza is an assistant professor at the UCF College of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Her clinical interests include diabetes prevention, early detection and individualized disease management. Dr. Mazza sees patients at UCF Pegasus Health, the faculty physician medical practice of the UCF College of Medicine.

About UCF Pegasus Health
As part of the UCF College of Medicine, UCF Pegasus Health was developed as a way to provide individualized, multidisciplinary health care based on the latest medical advancements. Staffed by faculty physicians, patients can receive primary and specialized care at our medical facility located at 3400 Quadrangle Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Specialties include sports medicine, internal medicine, endocrinology, cardiology & cardiovascular testing, geriatrics, rheumatology, neurology and nephrology. For more information call (407) 266-DOCS or visit

How To Keep Kids Active In A World Of Video Games

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By Sandra Goldstein

boyvideogameIt’s tough to match the appeal of today’s video games when it comes to keeping kids engaged. The action is fast paced, the challenges are thought provoking, and the sound and visual effects are unparalleled. But when children and teens spend the bulk of their time in front of the TV, computer, or hand-held devices – they develop an increased desire for immediate entertainment. This can cause a significant decrease in their attention span and ability to retain information elsewhere (school for instance). The concerned parent will often find themselves frustrated, and feeling helpless when it comes to encouraging a balance between video games, and physical fitness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get at least sixty minutes of physical activity everyday. Finding creative ways to get your child out and active – can be the tricky stitch!

Why Not Start By Playing A Video Game With Your Child?

This will take away the defensive barrier between you and your child that so often prevents effective communication. When your son or daughter feels that have taken the time to relate to their interests, they will likely be more receptive to other ideas and suggestions you may have regarding extra curricular activities. Playing video games with your child from time to time, also helps you keep a keen eye on the types of games they are playing, without invasive to their privacy. That, and there’s nothing wrong with upping the ‘cool factor’ just a bit as a parent!

boyssportsPlan Engaging Indoor & Outdoor Activities For Your Child And Their Friends!

There are literally hundreds of things to do that will encourage your child to get outside and be physically active, without it feeling like a chore. We forget that in our communities, there are activities just as challenging and thrilling (more so in fact) as any video game on the market. Consider Go Karting, paintball, laser tag or wide game activities like capture the flag in your community parks. If you live in a community with accessible water activities like canoeing, knee boarding, scuba diving or parasailing, take nature up on its opportunity. Sometimes it’s not that our kids aren’t interested in living active lifestyles, it’s that they don’t actually realize all the cool things that an active lifestyle could entail!

Get Your Child On Board With An Organized Sport

According to the NYU Child Study Centre, organized sports help build physical, psychological, character, cognitive and academic development in children. Sports will help your child build muscle and bone while improving memory capabilities, the ability to focus and reduce any stress or anxiety your child may be experiencing. Organized sports also build self- esteem, assist with cognitive problem solving abilities, teach children the value of working together, build leadership skills and encourage kids to set and achieve personal goals. Getting your child involved with sports will also expose them to people from other cultures, which encourages empathy from an early age.

The benefits behind encouraging your child to be physical active and involved in his or her community are really boundless. The important thing, is to make sure your they know you are on their side, and want to get, be and stay engaged right along with them. So, while you’re encouraging your kids to be active, make sure you’re ‘walking the walk’!

– Article supplied Sandra Goldstein.

The Importance Of Keeping Your Kids Active And How To Do It

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By Melody Reed

boyrunningWith child obesity becoming such a problem around the country it is more important than ever to keep your child/children active. Of course staying active is only half the battle as maintaining a healthy diet is equally important to the overall fitness of a child. However, for now we will focus on why it is so important to keep your son or daughter active and the ways in which you can do it.

Benefits of an Active Lifestyle

There are so many benefits that a child can receive from engaging in an active lifestyle. The primary, and most obvious, are the physical health benefits a child gains. Along with battling childhood obesity, physical activity helps a kid build muscle and stronger bones. Staying active can even help children prevent future health issues as it leads to lower cholesterol and blood pressure along with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While these physical health benefits have been well documented, there are also some non-physical perks a child can gain from staying active. It has been shown that kids who stay physically active are actually more likely to stay alert and successful in school. There are also emotional benefits to be gained; as a child can build self-esteem through success in physical activities such as sports. Although you may know about all the wonderful rewards of an active lifestyle for your kid, it may still be difficult to get them motivated and keep them active. Here are a few tips that can help you be successful.

familyfunSet a Good Example

As with most other aspects in life, your child will tend to emulate you. This is why it is important that you set a good example for your kid by having being active yourself. You don’t have to live in the gym to do this, simply show your child that you too are staying active and moving. If you spend most of your day in front of the TV then your son/daughter is likely to do the same. Setting this example will not only motivate them to be active now, but also set good habits for the future.

Provide Opportunities for Kids to Stay Active

You want to give kids as many opportunities as possible to be active. One way to do this is to get them involved in sports and other physical activities. It is important that you find something that they are interested in or find fun, because this will increase the chance that they stick with it. You should always provide praise for success in any activity as it will inspire the child to continue to strive for acknowledgement. Another easy way to provide opportunities is to get outside. There are many more opportunities for a kid to be active outside and they are more likely to want to be active.

Make Activities Fun

This may be the most important aspect of motivating a child to be active. This is because keeping activities interesting and fun is what keeps a kid committed to them. One way you can do this is by involving the entire family. Getting the whole family involved shows the child that the activity is fun and everyone wants to do it. Another way to keep things fun is to have your kid bring a friend along. You can also allow your child to pick the activity. Putting them in charge gives them a chance to do something they enjoy doing and it doesn’t feel like you’re forcing them to do it.

fruitswhiteHealthy Diet and Vitamins

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is also very important that your child maintains a healthy diet. A healthy diet, along with physical activity, will go a long way towards your child’s overall health. As far as vitamins and supplements go, I would suggest supplements for vitamin D above all others. There are not many foods with high levels of vitamin D and this leads to many kids having deficient levels of it. These supplements can be important because vitamin D helps build strong bones and protects against cancer.

Keeping your child/children active can seem like a difficult task; but it’s very important and these tips can help make it easier. It is recommended that a child engages in physical activity for least one hour every day and doing so will promote a healthier lifestyle. If you pair this with a healthy diet and the proper supplements you should have a strong and healthy child.

– Ten years ago, Melody Reed made a lifestyle change and decided to lose 80lbs. Now she tries to promote healthy lifestyles in adults and children with Eden Pond who supplies (health supplements).

The Art Of Being Active

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By Kim Evans

girlstretchAs someone who makes a living helping other people navigate their way through the fitness world, I am often asked about how I stay in shape, what motivates me, why I do what I do and even how long am I going to do what I do. Most of the time I can answer by saying that because I am a professional fitness instructor and athletic coach I feel that I need to stay in shape so that I can be the best teacher possible. But it is really so much more to me, and I think that is one of the reasons that I continue to do what I do.

Being active shapes my life. If I can ride a bike, take a walk or hike, put on skates, hop on my paddle-board and explore someplace new, well that is a beautiful thing. I like spending time in the gym, and the chance to take a class in a new format is something I seek out. These things all make me happy. I don’t consider it a chore, I enjoy moving my body. It keeps me calm, keeps my moods mostly positive and helps me get through the stress of life.

I fully understand that most people do not share the same philosophy as I do. That being said, it is one of my missions to help people understand that even if they do not like to exercise, they should still be active. When you keep your body moving as it should, everything in life is easier! I feel strongly that everyone, no matter what their limitations can find ways to make their lives better, through being active. It just has to be framed in a way so each person can relate it to their own lives. When you figure that out then life changes for you. My happiest moments are when clients ‘get it’. I’ve got ‘it’, and I want to share it!

chinupGet up and get out! Find the movement in everything that you do. If you like the gym, join one. Or take up a sport. Find things to do with your spouse and children. Explore your local area and take advantage of all of the things that are offered. Meet new people that like being active. I can promise that if you embrace an active lifestyle, you will be better for it. You don’t have to be great at it, you can take baby steps. Just embrace it.

To me, the art of being active really means that I have chosen to shape my life around being healthy and active. I gravitate towards like-minded people, and search out things to do that allow me to challenge myself physically and mentally. Practicing my art makes me feel like I am dancing through life.

Guest author, Kim Evans