My friend The Happy Hospitalist talks a lot about preventative medicine. He can cite you chapter and verse about how much Americans can reduce their incidence of diabetes and heart disease with lifestyle modifications. And how Americans can reduce their health care costs by not being having diabetes and heart disease.
Tigerdad got on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon about 3 years ago. He started to eat more fruits and vegetables, less red meat, and fewer carbs. He had always run on the treadmill we have in the basement. In the old days he ran 2-3 times a week for about half an hour.
New Tigerdad put up a TV in front of the treadmill complete with Tivo. Tigerdad ramped his runs up to 6 days a week for 45 minutes. I make him rest one day a week.
He started to feel better. His stamina slowly improved. The distance he could run in those 45 minutes got longer. His started to tighten his belt more. His dress shirts began to look loose around the collar. His jackets started to look ridiculous. He was all caught up on Must See TV.
And Tigerdad is not someone with lots of extra time. He works hard and when not at work he plays with the cubs and goes on Saturday night dates with me. So how does he do it? He did something I cannot do, he gets up an hour earlier.
So ten months ago, I got on the bandwagon too. Something clicked for me. Yes, I had a family event coming up complete with pictures to be taken and I wanted to take a few off. But more than that I felt the epiphany that I am a grown-up and that I really did not want the many joint replacement surgeries that my mother has had. Really anything to avoid going under the knife for me.
So I started to walk on the treadmill.
Only on days I was not in the office at first. No way am I getting up early like Tigerdad.
Tivo'd soap operas were a good incentive. Guilt free TV.
I started to walk two times a week at first. For 25 minutes - the amount of time of a Tivo'd half hour show with a warm up and cool down. Then three times a week. In 3 months I started to negotiate with Tigerdad for morning time on the treadmill. I asked him to either skip his day or get up even earlier so I could get in a walk before work.
I started to feel better. My stamina slowly improved. The distance I could walk in those 25 minutes got longer. My pants started to feel a little loose. My shirts started to hang. My thigh muscles started to feel rock hard. I was caught up on my soaps!
But this last month I have been a slug. I moan when it is time to get up. Tigerdad has to blare the radio alarm for me and I still fall back asleep. My kids are dressed and ready to go before I am. And I have been eating lots of junky food.
That's when I realized ... I have been behaving like a bear! I was getting ready to hibernate and enough was enough.
So I make this public commitment to you dear readers to keep a log of my walks like Happy logs his runs.
October 27, 2010 I walked 2.7 miles and for 25 minutes.
Feel free to join me on my walks. Let's stay awake this winter.