BY MARK SCHOLZ, MD
I reached a milestone. Standing up on
one leg at a time without leaning on anything, I pulled on my shoes and socks
without falling over. Ever since I hired
a trainer more than a year ago my balance has been steadily improving. But it has taken me this long to gain enough
strength and balance to pull of this feat.
wasn’t performing successful balancing acts when I finally threw in the towel
and hired a trainer. For years I have
known about the scientific studies equating fitness with longevity. This connection is much more significant than
most people realize. The risks of a
sedentary lifestyle equate to a pack-a-day smoking habit.
power but only if you act on that knowledge.
For three years I bought gym memberships, purchased a spectacular
exercise machine (which I am trying to sell) and treated myself to a beautiful
set of matched weights (which I am also trying to sell). I even used my equipment a few times. I made
a couple of visits to the gym, but with no consistency.
wrong? Most of you already know the
answer. Bottom line for me—exercise
causes pain. I am a busy person. I already have enough pain in my day-to-day
life. Last thing I wanted was to spend
my limited free time experiencing more pain.
scientifically oriented brain just can’t ignore those pesky studies showing
that a sedentary life style is as dangerous as smoking. And after all, longevity is really my life’s
work. People visit me from all over the country for advice on how to reduce
their risk of dying from prostate cancer. When taken in its entirety, poor
fitness is probably even more dangerous than prostate cancer itself.
trainer is what finally got me over the hump. By making myself accountable to
someone, my exercise became more consistent. It turns out that it’s in my
nature not to cancel training sessions lightly because it affects someone
else’s livelihood and schedule. Also, I
find the presence of someone with me during exercise is a welcome distraction,
making the sessions less miserable.
I say, “over
the hump” because once you get started exercising, you soon notice a subjective
sense of well-being, more energy, smaller waistline, more dietary freedom and better balance. These successes all serve to remind me that
my expensive exercise habit is really worth the cost.
There is a lot more to be said in
favor of fitness. The intimate
connection between balance and strength alone is a huge issue for my mostly
elderly clientele. Acquiring the right
kind of fitness trainer—a discerning one—is also important. The message is clear: attaining fitness
is achievable. All you need is enough conviction about the benefits of
exercise to break out your checkbook and hire a trainer.