You know that “check engine” light that comes on in your car to warn you when something is about to go terribly wrong? It occurred to me this week that we have the same kinds of warnings for our health and fitness–we just may not be very good at recognizing them.
Let me explain. While walking to the gym earlier this week, I heard a young girl running and skipping up behind me. She was all dressed in her soccer uniform, clearly on the way to her game. Hanging behind her were her mother and the family dog. Both mom and dog were doing their best to speed walk and keep up. When they reached me, both mom and dog were panting and, as the little girl begged them to hurry, her game mom wheezed out, “we have to catch our breath!” Watching this unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder: does this woman see the yellow warning light that she needs to take action now for her health and fitness? Perhaps she’s too busy, worried about other things, or just isn’t sure what to do. It got me thinking about what my warning lights on the road to fitness crashing are:
- Pouchy desk job tummy: initially I thought I was putting on weight, but the scale didn’t budge and while my clothes still fit, I certainly didn’t look the same.
- Being ridiculously sore after a weekend snowboarding or touch football game: it would hurt to laugh, hurt to get out of my chair, and curse my life if the elevator took too long and somebody suggested the stairs!
- Low energy level: sleeping until early afternoon on the weekends, and trouble feeling awake in the morning until caffeine knocked the fuzzies from my head.
- Being so winded after walking up four flights of stairs I’d take a few minutes to catch my breath.
- Constant cravings for pizza and french fries–or any type of salt and fat!
- Always eating on the go: running somewhere, chowing in meetings, and never taking the time to think about or enjoy what I was putting in my mouth.
What yellow warning lights have you seen that indicate you need to take action for your health and fitness?