Well, never in 108 years did I think I would be saying the following words...”Don’t just sit there...DO something!”
But this is the point that I am at. As yoga teachers, we are always encouraging our students to lie down, be still, and notice how they feel when they are practicing doing nothing at all. No fidgeting allowed. Coming face-to-face with your Self is the hardest thing of all.
However, when I look around at the bulk of the Canadian population and see the state of physical bodies, I am truly horrified. So much obesity. If this keeps up at the present rate, our planet will surely collapse into itself, unable to bear the weight of so many overweight people.
Recent statistics have reported that over 60% of Canadians are now carrying too much weight around with them. And recent studies in Sweden and the U.S have shown that as much as a 45 minute commute every day to work increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes....and the risk of divorce!
In spite of all the urging and talk and statistics by governments, the medical profession and fitness industry about the absolute imperative of becoming fitter ...and just simply MOVING MORE.....evermore Canadians are succumbing to TV, internet, gigantic portions of food, and just plain laziness. Why move, when everything that we want and need can be brought to us?
As if inactivity were not enough, stress loads are overwhelming in our society. We have written much on this topic. The evil hormone Cortisol is busily at work in stressed-out bodies setting down layers and layers of fat – especially around the abdomen – because in its ancient and hard-wired wisdom, the body is preparing for a perceived onslaught.
So, clearly, advertising does not work. Doctors’ advice does not work. Government scare tactics do not work. What WILL work?
Well, maybe .... Just maybe.....you and I can work. Instead of ignoring (and enabling) friends’ and family’s weighted condition, maybe we should say something? Touchy subject, yes? Would you say nothing to a family member of close friend who was drug or alcohol addicted or who was otherwise jeopardizing his or her health? Would you not want to do everything in your power to help?
Maybe you and I can hold out a helping hand to someone who is unhappy with being overweight.
The key words here are ‘holding a hand.’ For most inactive people, It’s not enough to be referred to a fitness club, or yoga studio, or to hear about a walking club or swim program. We – you and I – need to invite the person to be part of a two person unit called The Buddy System. The Buddy System is a commitment between two people in which the "buddies" operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. In adventurous or dangerous activities, where the buddies are often equals, the main benefit of the system is improved safety; each may be able to prevent the other becoming a casualty or rescue the other in a crisis.
When this system is used as a means of induction of newcomers to an organization, the less experienced buddy learns more quickly from close and frequent contact with the experienced buddy than when operating alone. And it goes without saying, that the motivation factor is greatly enhanced when one knows that his or her ‘buddy’ is ‘on side.’
Tips for establishing a Buddy System:
- Agree to certain times of the week when you will ‘move’ together – whatever your exercise is.
-Make a pact. And sign it. Zero tolerance for excuses. Being tired, inclement weather, traffic – are not reasons to skip exercise.
- Family members do not often make the best buddies! You know your family member will love you even if you poop out on them! That’s one of the reasons for the pact.
-Agree to a time limit – 3 months, or so...at which time you both will sit down together and re-assess what has been accomplished.
-Don’t compete with your buddy.
-Agree that your time together is dedicated to your exercise.. Working out can be a social experience, but it can easily devolve into ‘let’s just meet for coffee’.............
In any event, this experience will prove satisfying. Mutual support will encourage your buddy - and you - to stay with an exercise regimen.
To help get you and your Buddy started, this month the Studio is offering a very special promotion! Read on!