Lifestyle

YMCA | Sometimes you just need some inspiration | Health & Fitness

Do you want to be more physically active but can’t find the time to exercise? Sometimes it’s not about finding more time but about finding inspiration. Studies show that making a change takes two things; inspiration and focus.

Many people who have struggled with becoming physically active have become active through committing to train for a charity event. For example, The Big Climb. The Big Climb is a stair climbing event at the Columbia Tower in Seattle. This event raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Charity events such as this provide both elements essential to change- inspiration and focus. There are many examples of these types of events in every community. Whether you like to run, walk or cycle you can find an event that supports a worthy cause. Most of the major organizations like the American Cancer Society, the MS Society and the Arthritis Association offer fundraising and training opportunities. Often, coaching, group activities and training plans are included. The key to success is to find a cause that motivates and inspires you enough for you to make the commitment to changing your routine.

Tina, age 43, wanted to be more physically active but had difficulty finding balance with her responsibilities at home and work. She was intrigued about the idea of participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event in Seattle but never took the leap. Tina had hoped to complete the event with her sister since they lost both parents to cancer but her sister was unable to commit.

In early 2013, a friend invited Tina to participate in the 3-Day event in Seattle. Tina was excited to have a buddy to train with and it motivated her to re-examine her schedule and make time for the necessary training. With the help of the training resources available from the Susan G. Komen 3-day website, she and her friend trained by walking three times a week for five months.

In our interview with Tina last week, she displayed pride and emotion in recalling her experience of walking for three days with thousands of others. There is a bonding experience that occurs when thousands of individuals are all working toward the same goal in remembrance of individuals they’ve lost or in celebration of those who have survived. She specifically described the joy and happiness of walking across the I-90 floating bridge on the third day and seeing waves of thousands of walkers in pink shirts mile ahead and behind her. Tina is planning to walk the event again, this time with her sister in San Diego.

We are not recommending a cause or an endorsing a specific event; rather, we are suggesting that you seek an opportunity to be inspired and focused. Sometimes doing for others is the perfect avenue for doing for yourself.

The first step is to get moving. You can do it!

Best wishes for your continued success.

Stephanie Norton-Bredl is the associate executive director at the Auburn Valley YMCA and may be contacted at snortonbredl@seattleymca.org, Bruce deJong is a group exercise instructor at the Auburn Valley YMCA and may be contacted at bruce@bicyclebootcamp.com.

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