A New Year’s Resolution

by Joe Steckler

President, Helping Seniors of Brevard

The best exercise you could get would be to select a place near where you live, mark off a walking course a mile in length, and set a goal of walking that distance. Many will find this to be a huge challenge. They will say, “I can’t do that today,” or “I have this to do”. You may think these are valid reasons for not doing the walk you had planned, but they simply are excuses for putting it off to another time, a time you will never find.

For more than three years, I have not been able to walk without the aid of a walker. Even with the walker, I am limited to 40 feet due to pain in both legs. However, I will not give up; while I may never walk a mile, I will walk without my walker. Meeting this challenge will enable me to accomplish a goal I set when I learned that my knee operation resulted in pain in both knees, a condition I am still trying to correct.

The reason I am discussing this topic with you is to tell you two things I am working on to deflect some of the debilitating effects of my condition. First is weight loss and second is building muscle strength. Had I been tremendously overweight and previously ignored my muscle strength, I would have had a more difficult time recovering or doing my rehabilitation.

I urge those who are overweight or lack muscle tone to take corrective action. It can and should be done. Believe me, for I have been in similar shoes. Being fat is unnecessary and embarrassing. Muscle strength is a little different because you must work for that greased beach effect. A few exercises along with a weight reduction program will let you walk the beach without shame. Many years ago, when I was 12, I was more comfortable at Jacksonville Beach when holding the oblong surfboard in front of me.

Weight control is one of the “hugest” challenges that most of us will contend with as we age. It affects us, whether we want to admit it. It is no fun to have a body that we can and should change. Moreover, it is a common cause of poor health. I constantly have to limit my desert intake – and I could eat ice cream for breakfast. (I remember one time at the Naval Academy we were served ice cream with pancakes for breakfast.)

Walking the mile that I discussed at the start of my article is one way to help reduce your weight, along with a reduction in the amount and type of food you consume. I have talked to many doctors about weight control, and every one of them has assured me that it can be done. Exercise helps, but the main factor in any weight reduction program is Will Power – how much do you have?

Contact Helping Seniors at 321-473-7770, at www.HelpingSeniorsofBrevard.org, or at P.O. Box 372936, Satellite Beach, FL 32937.