I was always active a a child, building tree houses in our back woods, catching crayfish in our front stream and ice skating when it froze over the the winter.
During high school, I didn't participate in any sport. I once joined the cross country team, but after a couple weeks of practices, I dropped out. To this day, I am puzzled by that decision since my true passion is running.
Growing up in Pennsylvania made it hard to run with the rain, snow and steep hills. After moving to Florida, I was able to run often thanks to the flat roads and warm weather.
While teaching physical education at Carillon Elementary School, I found co-workers with the same passion. We entered marathons, half marathons, and even an eight-mile relay through the woods.
During my nine years at the school, I noticed an increasing trend among the younger generation - diabetes. Each year, more and more students were developing the disease. I also notice d a great number of people being diagnosed with cancer.
In the beginning, running was a high for me as well as a way to control weight gain. Once aware of certain health risks surrounding me, I realized not only was I running for fun I was running for my health.
Since my mother passed away from cancer in the early '80s, I wanted to get involved with Relay for Life, which is a community event to raise money for cancer patients, and research. Working at Relay for Life and the school made me aware how crucial staying active is.
I always knew with my active lifestyle and good eating habits I had more energy, better moods, and a healthier heart. What I didn't realize was I was preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol, strokes, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, arthritis and bone loss. I even noticed my improved immune system; I rarely got sick even though I was surrounded by small children every day.
The consequences for leading a sedentary lifestyle, as mentioned previously, is what motivates me to stay active.
Time is one of the reasons people don't exercise. That should not be used as an excuse considering exercising only take at minimum 20 minutes a day. Not only will that instantly benefit your well being, it will also prevent costly doctor visits that will consume more time than all the exercising combined.
Some diseases may be hereditary; all the more reason I will do all I can to reduce the risks, I want to be around my family as long as possible. By focusing on exercise for health purposes your reward may be greater than just weight loss.