How Do I Begin to

t didn’t take long for Susie to become a legend. Beginning in the early 90s, Susie burst onto the running scene in the Piedmont Triad area and began to win one footrace after another. Quickly she became known throughout the southeast, winning at every distance from the 5k (3.1 miles) through the marathon (26.2 miles). For many years she dominated in her age group in the southeastern Grand Prix of running. Susie wasn’t just winning races, but setting records that still stand today. So much about her running career was amazing. Perhaps the most amazing part of it, however, is that she didn’t begin run- ning until she was 60.

A lifelong smoker—and inactive to

boot—Susie had the sort of encounter with her doctor that so many of us have. Her physician confronted her with the serious- ness of her health habits and particularly her lack of exercise. Taking the doctor’s words to heart, Susie took up running. She became an inspiration for women and men runners, not only because of the athletic prowess she developed, but because she accomplished all she did after 60 years of sedentary living. When it comes to her physical

achievements, Susie is remarkable. In terms of her inactive lifestyle, however, she was quite unremarkable. In 2018, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) esti- mated that 77% of American adults do not get adequate physical exercise. It’s impor- tant to know that certain factors result in variations of these estimates. For instance, only 18% of women across the nation get enough exercise compared to 26% of men. Geography also plays a huge part in our exercise habits. North Carolina citizens typically exercise slightly less than the national average, while Virginians exercise slightly more than average. South Carolin- ians, along with all other southeastern states, exercise signifi cantly less than the national average.

I HEAL? Age also plays a big role in how much

exercise we get. Obviously as we grow older, we fi nd it easier to be inactive—es- pecially if we have not been vigorously active in earlier years. Beyond our per- sonal history, however, as we progress through life we encounter more physical obstacles—like injuries and signifi cant illnesses—and acquire more chronic medical conditions that compound the diffi culty of starting an exercise program. As it was so well-expressed by Michael, a well-known personal trainer, “We are all in a lifelong struggle against gravity, and we know that in the long run gravity will win.”

When faced with daunting, mounting

physical problems, we often despair of starting and staying with any worthwhile exercise program. Such an attitude itself becomes a major obstacle to renewed wellbeing. Too, as we grow older, we often encounter emotional trauma, depression, grief and other psychological issues that challenge our wholeness, confi dence and self-worth. It has been proven that physical

exercise can bring healing to our emo- tional state—but our emotional state often diminishes our desire and willingness to exercise.

As the inclination to inactivity mounts,

it’s hugely important to recognize that a sedentary life is deadly. A 2013 study by the CDC determined that simple inactiv- ity leads to more deaths annually than smoking. In 2017, the National Library of Medicine issued a report listing the key risks faced by inactive individuals. They included obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, higher risk of certain cancers, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and premature death. Given all these heightened risks, one would be justifi ed in saying that a sedentary life itself is some- thing from which we need to recover. But where do we start? If we decide

we don’t want to give up and surrender to misery and a shortened life, then we must recover from inactivity, from the medical issues and the emotional burdens that have contributed to our conditions. Invariably we must face our lethargy, our fear of the

Gina Davis, FNP-C Gina Davis is a Board-Certified Gina Davis, FNP-C

Family Nurse Practitioner. She has been a nurse since 2003 and has specialized in diabetes management for the past10 years. She is commit- ted to helping others achieve their health potential physically, emo- tionally, and spiritually using a ho- listic approach.She is excited to help those looking to enhance their over- all health for thyroid, bioidentical hormones, autoimmune diseases, and many other issues. Let her help you to achieve Health as it Ought to Be.

336.768.3335 November 2019 15

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