Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Exercise
Disciplines: Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Systems Thinking

"Most of the ailments I see could be prevented
if people ate well and exercised regularly."
James Meditch, M.D., my physician

I've always exercised a little - stretching, walking, yoga now and then. But I've stubbornly resisted joining a club or working out regularly. Even after Hal joined the YMCA several years ago and began to work out regularly, I harbored stereotypes: The Y would have a football locker-room atmosphere; it would be loud and bouncy and buff. I feared working out would be boring.
Then last January I visited the YMCA on a free pass. To my surprise, I liked it. My stereotypes were blown. There was great diversity: women of all ages, shapes and sizes doing a variety of exercises, an elderly man on oxygen smiling as he exercised his legs, a teenager who walked the elliptical machine in slow motion, a rainbow of little kids playing pick up basketball. I joined.
One year later and I am proud to say I have exercised at the YMCA 2-3 times a week for a whole year!
Hal and I made a commitment we can keep. We're committed to going as often as we can. One day we walk 30 minutes around the track or on an elliptical machine. The next day we each work out for 30-40 minutes on a circuit of weight machines that has been set up for us individually to strengthen every muscle in our bodies. We only do each machine 8-12 repetitions, so it doesn't get boring. If we're too busy one day, we go the next.
There are some compelling reasons we've kept the commitment.
--> It makes us feel good.
--> We have more energy and stamina.
--> We sleep better.
--> We've stayed well all year.
Research shows that regular exercise improves mental and physical health in so many ways. Here are a few:
1. Lowers blood pressure
2. Decreases bad cholesterol
3. Decreases risk of heart attack
4. May reduce risk of stroke
5. Decreases fatigue
6. Reduces physiological and psychological stress
7. Improves symptoms of anxiety and depression
8. Improves cognitive functioning
9. Improves self-esteem
10. Slows the aging process

The trouble is these benefits only sustain if exercise is maintained for extended periods of time and estimates are that only 50% of all people who start an exercise program keep it up for more than 6 months.

1. Commit to an exercise program for 2006.
2. Do it with someone, if possible.
3. Design a program you enjoy so you'll stick with it.


Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to share and deepen our thoughts and experiences regarding exercise. Call Tuesday, January 17, at 12:00 noon EST (11:00 a.m. CST, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. PST)
1-425-818-9401 X925 No need to register....just call at that time!

The beginning of a new year is a good time to start coaching toward something you've been wanting to do or be. Call me to talk about it at 1-888-907-HOPE (4673). Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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