Several weeks ago my nephews, Landon (10) and Jayce (14) visited my wife Elizabeth and me for a week. As part of our week of fun, we took them to a Washington Nationals baseball game in downtown DC. What’s better than baseball in the summer, especially when you can share it with family? All 4 of us had a great time. Though the Nats lost . . .
As we were leaving a little early trying to beat the crowds to our car from what Landon called, “the nosebleed” seats, we faced a choice. Did we walk the ramp down to the ground level or did we take the escalator? All simple choices you and I make on a regular basis every day.
It was a hot summers night and we were all anxious to get home, so I said, “Boys, let’s take the escalator.”
This is when my nephew Jayce piped up, “Uncle Kevin, aren’t you the CEO of the American Diabetes Association?”
“Then, don’t you need to set a good example? We need to walk the ramp. It’s more exercise, you know?”
It made me laugh…..Nothing like the mouths of babes to speak the truth. Of course, we then walked the ramp.
And it’s true. Jayce was spot on. Physical exercise is important. It’s important to an overall health conscious lifestyle. It’s important when you have diabetes and also when you do not. And it’s important, especially if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes as I am.
But, it’s so easy to make excuses, isn’t it?
To say: “I’ll get to that activity later.” Or, “I have this big project due at work, so I can’t go to the gym this week.” Or even to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to make lifestyle changes, not knowing where to start.
But, as much as I am with you in the “excuses” camp, I also know being the CEO of the American Diabetes Association or not, I must move!
In fact, the Association recommends four kinds of physical activity including activity throughout the day (walking, using the stairs, moving around), aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercise. Go at your own pace but aim for about 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.
This is why at any of our all-staff Town Hall meeting which occurs once a month for 2 hours, we stop at 90 minutes as research shows that changing our sedentary habits is one of the most effective ways of preventing type 2 diabetes. The music of the 7th inning stretch in baseball comes over speaker system. We stop and take a #GetFitDontSit break.
Several of our team members trained in exercise science lead us in a series of stretches and aerobic activities.
Our employees not present in the home office of Alexandria, VA join in on the fun too.
This past week, during our Town Hall meeting, we encouraged field offices participating in our all staff electronically to take pictures of their #GetFitDontSit moments.
Here are some of my favorites
Who said you can’t have fun and exercise at work?
Want to join us? You don’t have to be a part of the staff of the American Diabetes Association to participate in this campaign.
Set a timer on your phone if you find yourself in a job with long stretches of sitting. At the 90 minute mark (or less) stand up, take a walk and remind your body how good it feels to move. Your body will thank you!
As you participate in this campaign, tweet me your pictures @KLHAGAN. And I’ll be glad to repost them. You never know how your positive lifestyle choices will positively encourage others to do the same. So, let’s start moving.