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Slow down, you move too fast!

Jerry Vance
For the Appeal

Three factors make up a healthy body: Rest, exercise, and good nutrition.

It’s a healthy triangle. But, what is just as important and quite often forgotten, is play time. There has to be a fun, silly unstructured part of your life and that doesn’t include television. When was the last time you did something for your own enjoyment? When was the last time you slept in, worked in the garden, baked a cake, read a book, flew a kite or went fishing?

Most people fill all the holes in their days and still have lots of unfinished chores. That’s the way it is in today’s world. You feel guilty if someone finds you reading, even on the weekend.

When both adults in a home have jobs, there is seldom time for personal entertainment. Each person is designated chores and no one plays. Not only do the adults suffer mentally and physically for this lack of play time, the kids in the family suffer too. They seldom get mom or dad’s attention for discovery or “fool around” time.

I have noticed the difference in the mental attitudes of my exercise students this year. Time changes seemed to affect them more, especially when it’s an hour off of a weekend. They resent the loss of an hour and take more time adjusting to changes.

People are resentful and easily depressed by small-time losses when they have so little extra time available. I hear complaints that chores and projects never get finished and more students are having trouble making it to exercise class on time. It’s logical that the less that gets finished, the more depressed you become.

If you take one day off for yourself, it gives you a “light at the end of the tunnel.” But given eight hours off, it’s a safe bet you won’t spend it on fun. Keep in mind in fifty or a hundred years, who’s going to know you didn’t get the toilet washed, or you left the breakfast dishes in the sink?

The solution to the lack of fun in your life is easy. Plan your fun. Take one full weekend a month for a trip or free time.

Plan one day a week for the same. Everything in our lives has become too structured, all the minutes of the day are accounted for so you will have to be firm about taking time off for fun.

Fun time just as important, if not more important, than time off for a doctor’s visit or a trip to the grocery store.

Drop the guilty feeling when you sit down to read that book. Learn to close your eyes to the things that can’t or won’t get finished. Slow down, use your hot tub, drive slower and deep breathe. You only go around once, enjoy your time today.

You’ll live longer.

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