Years ago my oldest son and I were looking at houses in a neighbohood not far from where we lived. At some point, a dog charged after my son. I’m a great Mom, but no match for a raging dog. In a split second I yelled JUMP ON THE CAR! My son jumped on the trunk of the car. The dog turned and ran away. With my heart pounding, my child and I were able to safely get inside the car.

So, what does this have to do with fitness?

Some of you don't know it, but you are in danger. You’d better jump on board fast. You don’t have time to waste and there is not a moment to spare. My son didn’t have a discussion with me. He jumped because the dog was fast approaching. Some of you have sent illness an invitation and it is headed your way. Hear me loud and clear: YOU MAY BE IN DANGER. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity -- they all lurk on the heels of unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle. Jump now, before it’s too late!

Whether you jump on the bandwagon, jump on board or jump in with both feet you better move and you better move fast. I realize there is a lot of information to sort through. Let me help you with some simple ways you can jumpstart a healthier you.

1.  Plan meals. This does not have to be a fancy, time consuming venture. Planning out healthy choices, having healthy options in mind and even packing snacks are good moves.

2.  Plan workouts, walks, exercise, and gym time. You need to exercise. There, I said it. Make it easy, simple and fun. PLAN THE TIME. There are so many options, there are few really valid excuses. If you contend you are too busy, try these:

a.  When you go shopping park away from your store of choice. Those extra minutes it takes to walk to the entrance add up. Yes, make the family walk, too. It's a healthy habit for everyone.

b.  Use DVD’s at home for a few minutes of exercise. Leslie Sansone has walking DVD’s that are easy for all fitness levels and a one mile walk is about 15-20 minutes.

c.  Use body weight exercises. Do jumping jacks, wall push-ups, squats, or take stairs two at a time. Take a water aerobics class or an early morning swim.

Bernice Kinney Coles

Bernice Kinney Coles

d.  Watch your favorite TV show while walking on the treadmill.

You may have been on the sidelines far too long. Take advantage of fair weather and jump into fitness and food routines that can change your life and your future.  And speaking of dogs, you may want to adopt a four-legged friend that you have to walk each day. Doggone-it! What a wonderful way to get some walking done!

Until, next time, be well.

Bernice Kinney Coles