Don’t Need Buff, Just Need to Move

Today’s daily prompt is the word “buff.” I’m not sorry to say that I pictured a buff male body first (we’re talking front of romance books, ya know?), my not-really-buff figure second (although I knocked out a 6:25 mile on the treadmill yesterday so I can’t complain), and buffing out wax on a vehicle third—just to come up with something other than nicely shaped bodies. But really, what is a buff body worth anyway?

I’ve been a nurse for nine years, and I’ve seen a lot of bodies. I can honestly say the buff bodies of fantasy books are few and far between, but I’ve had some patients truly impress me when they talk about staying in shape. The most impressive are the ones who are elderly or have chronic diseases who are still trying to do what they can to promote the health of their bodies. I had one patient in his late 80’s who goes to the gym three times a week and had never been in the hospital until something got in the way of the flow (if you don’t know what I mean ask an older guy). I had one patient have a goal to do a 300 lb bench press on his 60th birthday, and after his heart cath wanted to ask his cardiologist if he was allowed to still try. I had a patient with COPD who managed to walk five miles a day throughout the year to make sure he could do what he could to prolong his health. How I wish everyone had this kind of motivation! I love hearing people talk about going for walks or hiking or biking, but to be honest, I have a feeling there’s not a lot of follow-through.  It’s something to keep up with (and not just once a month, dearest hubby).

I go running regularly and find trails by nice homes and take the kids to the park when possible. It is amazing how few people are engaged in outdoor exercise or play when we go. I always wonder where the heck is everyone? This world is chock full of people, but very few are out even on nice days. According to the CDC (2013), “The U.S. government recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both.” And in the study of 450,000 Americans from all 50 states, SELF-REPORTED exercise habits were surveyed: 80% do not reach these recommendations. I emphasized self-reported because, let’s face it, perceptions are probably not very accurate, so the results could potentially be worse. I don’t like knowing 80% of my community might become patients even sooner or in worse condition due to lack of exercise. With parks and trails, home gym equipment, exercise videos, sidewalks, a variety of sports, classes and opportunities, what is everyone waiting for? A miracle?!?!?

God designed our bodies to move and work, and He designed nature and fresh air to enjoy. We might not need a buff body (although, if you got it, enjoy your blessing and forgive my second glances), but everyone must move! And move often before you end up in a hospital bed with side rails and a nurse named Emily trying to get you out of bed to “ambulate in the hallway!” Because I will.