Doing What I Can to Live Well

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Hi, I’m Janet and I’m happy to have my first post on the LifeSpan blog. When I read a post, I like to know a little about the person, so allow me to introduce myself and tell you why I’m blogging here.

I’m a speaker, author and blogger. While that can sound glamorous, and some aspects of it are cool, it also includes countless unglamorous hours of sitting at a computer. So it can easily be a lifestyle that can lead to being inactive and unhealthy. I have to make ongoing choices to prevent that from happening.

There’s nothing like almost dying to realize how precious life is and how important good health is. Eight years ago, I almost lost my leg and life in a 6-vehicle accident. I had massive injuries and a long, painful recovery. Through four years of ongoing surgeries and physical therapy, I spent about two of those years angry and depressed.

With time, I realized that while I can’t change what happened, I have choices in how I live each day. I began eating food that provides fuel instead of empty calories and started being as active as my body allowed. At first, a 5-minute walk would exhaust me, but step by step my body became stronger and I’ve recovered much better than any of my doctors expected.

Truth be told, even I’m amazed at my recovery and I learned I have more power over how I feel than I thought I did. Choosing to eat well and be active rocks! Nothing, no tasty junk food or hours on the couch, can compare to feeling good.

As a strong believer that our bodies are meant to move and that regular activity can prevent many health issues, I like LifeSpan’s motto:

LifeSpan is dedicated to helping people live healthier, more active and longer lives.

Thankfully after years of therapy, slow walks and bike rides, I was able to return to a love of mine, running. But even with running a few times a week, most days my job requires many hours of sitting at a computer. So over the past year, on days when I’m in my office, I been using a LifeSpan Fitness treadmill desk a few hours a day.

At the beginning of the year, I thought I would track every mile I walked while working on the treadmill desk. Maybe even make one of those cool graphs showing how far across the country I’m walking, but my short attention span (darn undiagnosed ADD) soon ruined that plan. While the treadmill has a great console that tracks every step and mile, I kept forgetting to record my progress each day. Maybe in 2013 I will. But tracking progress or not, I’m walking a few hours a day instead of sitting and that’s a win!

If I can make major changes to my health and live well, you can too. We all want to go from point A to point B overnight, but the reality is major lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight, but small changes can happen everyday.

Reach for an apple instead of a processed snack. Park at the far end of the parking lot. (You probably heard this advice before, now do it!) Play catch with a child. Walk through that neighborhood park that you often drive by. And when you watch a show or movie, sit on the floor and do crunches and stretches.

Day by day, your choices will add up to make you healthier and not only live longer, but feel good doing it!

 

Janet Oberholtzer lives in Pennsylvania. She is married and has three college-aged sons. In the past, she’s been a gardener, seamstress, event organizer and a business owner. Today she works as a writer and speaker. Her memoir, Because I Can was published in 2011. You can connect with her on 

Facebook, Twitter or her blog.

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