Let summer inspire you to get active

Summery weather is finally upon us. What are your plans for the next four months?

I know I've expounded about this subject many times, but some days, no one listens. And I'm sure you have been harassed enough about your lack of physical activity to make the subject of exercise oppressive. Think of my position, trying to convince the major part of today's population to exercise is like trying to convince someone afraid of heights that they'll like hang gliding.

After all these years in the fitness world, I no longer try to justify activity in any form. However, there are a few things to be prepared for if you aren't active.

Your life span may be shorter, and contain more medical problems than those people who will exercise. Your susceptibility to injury will be greater, and your dietary habits worse. Subsequently, your chance for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer will increase.

You will tire more easily and lose important minerals and protein from body tissue. You will have a tendency to suffer low-back pain due to weak abdominal muscles and tight hamstrings. Not exercising can cause loss of skeletal muscle, with loss of strength and muscle tone affecting joint and ligament flexibility.

There's a wonderful summer full of warm days waiting for you to enjoy active leisure pursuits. You will need the vigor and alertness and ample reserve of energy to enjoy the season without fatigue. If you start on a program of fitness now, think of all the fun waiting for you in the next four months.

It's much better to look on the plus side of exercise than to consider where you won't be at the end of the summer. Walk for 30 minutes a day, work in your garden, do something that involves activity. It will turn your biological clock around to the positive side for a new beginning. And you have to start sometime, why not now?

• Jerry Vance is owner of The Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.


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