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September 19, 1997     The Message
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September 19, 1997

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September Get Up and Move! Tips on Breaking Out of a 'Couch Potato' Lifestyle Does the word ;"exercise" make you cringe? Do you think you are just too busy to make physical fit- ness a priority? If so, you -- like nearly half of all Amer- icans -- are leading a "couch potato" lifestyle. Dispelling the.m00hs ............................... There are many myths about exercise, and couch potatoes know them all. Why? Because they make good excuses for not getting into shape! Just think back; have you been taken in by any of these false assumptions? MYTH #1: You have to be in shape to work out. MYTH #2: There is no point in exercising unless you can do so often. MYTH #3: If you are "old," you shouldn't exercise. MYTH #4: Having time to exercise is a sign that you're not a busy enough person. After all, working out is a "luxury" -- not an essential! MYTH #5: If you're already feeling stressed, having to exercise will only make things worse. MYTH #6: If you don't exercise until it hurts, you aren't doing yourself any good. MYTH #7: Fitness instructors are all "drill sergeants." MYTH #8: If it is fun, itcan't be exercise! Benefits of exercise .... The truth of the matter is this: Regular physical activ- ity offers you many benefits and, thus, should be a pri- ority in your life. Consider this partial list of reasons for exercising: BENEFIT #1: Exercise can help you shed excess pounds and fat or maintain a healthy weight. BENEFIT #2: Physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. BENEFIT #3: Exercising regularly can help keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels In check. BENEFIT #4: Working out can help slow the natural loss of bone mineral that occurs as you age, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. BENEFIT #5: Exercise can boost your mood, along with your energy level. BENEFIT #6: Physical activity strengthens your mus- cles, joints, tendons and ligaments, and helps improve flexibility. BENEFIT #7: Exercise has a calming, mind-clearing effect that can help reduce your stress level and actually make you more effective on the job. BENEFIT #8: Exercising can help you improve not only your appearance but also your levels of self-con- fidence and self-esteem. BENEFIT #9: Regular exercise can make life more fun! Getting started ..................................... But how do you begin an exercise program, and what should you expect when you do? Here are some sug- gestions that can help you get off to a good start: • First, check with your physician. This is especially important if you have a history of injuries, have med- ical conditions like high blood pressure or high cho- lesterol, are expecting a baby, are a smoker, have a fam- ily history of heart disease, or are over age 35. • Start out slowly, and gradually add to your work- out. You should never experience pain when exercis- ing or exercise to the point of exhaustion. Remember: It is not a race, and you won't gain anything by burn- ing yourself out! • During every exercise session, always take time to warm up and cool down. • When you first start exercising, don't be surprised if you feel sore or stiff. This is normal and should only last a few days. Sticking with your exercise plan Perhaps you're thinking, 'Tve Started exercise pro- grams before. The problem for me is sticking with my plan!" The first few weeks are generally the hardest; after that, working out will be part of your routine. But even so, there may be times when you will need a little extra motivation, so consider trying these tips: • Think of your potential excuses for not exercising, and decide in advance on ways to defeat those obsta- cles. • Find a role model, and learn tricks he or she has discovered to help stick with an exercise program. • Establish a support network -- a group of people who will exercise with you or at least encourage you In your efforts. • If you will notbe exercising with a friend, in a class, or with a personal trainer, try bringing along yol favorite music or a book on tape to keep yourself Vated. • Vary your exercise program so that you become bored. : [ oul . • Keep your fully stocked gym bag in your car or b scic the door so that you don t forget to take it with you. • Become knowledgeable about various types ] yea exercise and their benefits. Keep a journal of your exe i : cise gcals and accomplishments. Reward yourself f reaching the targets you set. However, be sure that yo j goals are realistic. .'| • Remember: More exercise is not necessarily be for you. Don t burn yourself out by overdoing it. Aft { all, exercise should be fun! ] I Fitting fitness into your busy sched00 !' Is time still a problem? Even extremely busy peop can find ways to incorporate exercise Into their di Here are a few ideas you may want to try to "snea s physical fitness into your schedule: t • Park your car at the back of the parking lot, o °PF you live nearby, consider walking to and from work!| tio you are using public transportation to go somewh rect try getting off a few stops early and walking the rest | luc the way. • Actually schedule time on your calendar for ex pr°j cise; reserve an appointment for yourself, and keep • When you find yourself with even 10 or 15 n ["" utes free, use that time to get up and move. around your office, to the water cooler, or around t block. After all, any physical activity is better than no • Always use the stairs instead of the elevator..J • Use your speaker phone, and move around durL vour phone conversations rather than sitting. . • Chart your progress. When you see that your eff0 ( are producing results, you will be more likely to c:t 1 sider exercise as a valuable use of your time. i Health Matterscan helpl ....................................................... The fitness professionals at, the Health Matters C t b ter  a service of,St. Mary s Medical Center ! experts at helping 'couch potatoes" get off the co d and back into sha e! For more information on sta ., P to learn a. J and sticking with an exercise program, or memberships, classes, screenings, and other servi call (812) 485-4110 or 485-4309. ] a Course teaches adolescents skills for safe baby-snttm00" " o For many parents, finding Sitter program is to increase the American Academy of Pedi- niques for rescue breathing and cannot release the narne.:  someone qualified to watch the availability of adolescents atrics, Safe Sitter is a unique, care of a choking infant/child, those who have completedi:  their children is a frequent who can provide safe, nurtur- medically-accurate training Graduates receive a Safe Sitter course, a representative  struggle. Adult friends and re]- ing care for children. • The program that runs for a total of certificate and T-shirt, plus a help your child's baby-sittd . atives often have other com- course also heightens the self- 13 hours. It is designed for boys tote bag with supplies and a enroll, i vl n And hou h o d f d n 1 gq mitme ts. t g y u esteem an sense o in epe - and girls between the ages of I handy reference manual to take .l c, may consider the young neigh- dence of its young participants, and 13  the age at which most along when baby-sitting. To learn more or register " bor down the street to be increases their employability, young people turn to baby-sit- The fee to take part in Safe son or daughter for an upco ]: responsible, would he or she and gives them a step ahead in ring to earn extra money. Sitter is $35. q , Although St. Safe Sitter session, call (812)! really be prepared to handle an emergency situation should one arise while baby-sitting? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the sad truth is that accidental injuries including accidents in the home  are the leading cause of death in the United States among children under five years of age. The Safe Sitter pro- gram was created in 1980 by Dr. Patricia Keener, an Indianapo- lis pediatrician, when this real- ity Struck too close to home: The toddler daughter of a friend choked to death while the baby- sitter frantically sought help. Dr. Keener believed the accident could have been avoided had the sitter known one of the sim- ple techniques taught in the course: the Heimlich maneuver. ':The overall goalof, the Safe preparing for their future responsibilities as parents. The Health Matters Center at St. Mary's Medical Center is proud to be a certified Safe Sit- ter training provider, giving area teens and pre-teens a chance to benefit from this valuable educational offering. "We are happy to be able to teach the Safe Sitter course as a community service that benefits both young people and par- ents," said Cindy Williams, Health Matters Center director. "Not only does it teach adoles- cents skills that will be useful in many ways both now and in the years ahead, but the pro- gram is also helping to create a more qualified pool of baby-sit- ters for parents throughout our service area." . . Recognized for excellence by' Through hands-on training and discussion with a knowl- edgeable, certified professional, course participants learn important skills and informa- tion, such as: • The responsibilities and ethics of safe baby-sitting; • basic first aid and life-sav- ing techniques; • safety precautions to pre- vent accidents; • how and when to summon help; • tips on basic infant and child care; • guidelines for age-appro- priate entertainment; • suggestions for starting a baby-sitting business. At the completion of the course, Safe Sitter participants must pass a written exam and demonstrate the proper tech- Mary's Health Matters Center 4110 or (812) 485-4309.