For the past six years I have been consistent in using a treadmill and Elliptical for exercise most every night. Before then exercise was not a priority. What caused the change? It is amazing how having two stents placed in two formerly 99% blocked arteries changed my perspective on life. The Cardiologist told my wife at the time if I had not been taken to the emergency room I would have died in my sleep. I wasn’t that overweight. The artery problem was more genetic in nature as my father had died of blocked arteries to the heart at age 58.
When you come that close to death, life takes on new meaning. Especially when after the stent surgery I learned news of two people near my age that died of heart attacks. I reflected over why I was still alive when I stubbornly almost refused going to the hospital and possibly would have died that day. From the context of my recent thinking on living more than ok, I also thought how even though I am predisposed to clogged arteries my style of life of just being ok catered to junk food and lack of exercise in my past. My thinking had been, I am not overweight, so why bother with exercise.
After the stent surgery, I was placed in heart rehab therapy so was forced to go on a heart diet and an exercise regimen. Since that initial heart rehab after the hospital, I have kept disciplined in diet and exercise partly due to my wife’s direction but also because I enjoy living life. I know I need to follow the regimen if I want to keep living. Another factor since that day when I could not breathe, as I felt like a thousand pound weight was on my chest, is a sincere belief God is not finished with me yet. I figured there must be a purpose for me to still be alive. My wife and daughter are in that purpose zone. But I believe even this post on exercise is part of the purpose. If I can encourage a few people to exercise before a hospital visit forces them to -- it is all worth it.
Exercise gives you more energy to face each and every day. Since my time in the hospital I have been more aware of sensing my body. If I am sick and cannot exercise for a few days I can feel a sluggishness overtaking me physically. Recently I read in the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind that exercise is not just good for the body but for the mind as well. Vigorous aerobic exercise helps keep the brain in better shape. So if you are wanting to live a better life and enjoy improved mental health become involved with physical activities as part of your lifestyle – jogging, walking, swimming, tennis, basketball, or treadmills can help in promoting a strong circulatory system. You can exercise by yourself, with close friends, or if you are a more social person you may find support in joining a health club.
My wife recently had a friend give her a Walk at Home DVD that we have begun to use and enjoy. It is done by Leslie Sansone. At first I did not think walking in place at home could be any help as a workout. We have tried it and it is vigorous and gets all the muscles moving. My wife has seen an energy boost from it. Our daughter enjoys it as well so it is a positive way to spend some family time together. I still enjoy working out on my machines so we alternate as they do not have to exercise everyday like I do.
Make exercise as part of your lifestyle choice. It is better for you to choose now rather than having a hospital visit choose it for you. You will be doing your body and mind a favor and it is a great gift you can give those you love – a better you!