Archived Story

A good place for a reality check

Published 10:43pm Thursday, February 28, 2013

Anyone looking for a community event in Suffolk on any given weekend will often find something geared toward promoting health and fitness.

For example, last Saturday I attended Sentara Obici Hospital’s Heart Walk and health fair at the Suffolk YMCA, and this Saturday Lakeland High School will host the Cavalier Challenge, which was planned partly in response to the city’s diabetes and obesity epidemic.

The folks who give their time and energy to organize these events deserve recognition. There’s no doubt that every one them can be thanked for helping others make better life choices.

Facing up to reality and dealing with it, no matter how harsh — and it often is to some degree — is the secret to leading a healthier life, as it is to many other things.

If you don’t make time to exercise to offset the lengthy periods you may spend stuck behind a desk at work, the reality is that your health is going to suffer and your quality of life nosedive, sooner or later.

A lot of the time, unhealthy food tastes better than healthy food. But the reality is, keep eating too much of it and you won’t live as long.

I’ve often encountered a “Devil may care” attitude when it comes to this subject, especially from loved ones. That’s fine, but wouldn’t you rather retire with your health intact enough to pursue a long-neglected hobby, travel, or to see your grandchildren grow into adulthood and your great-grandchildren take their first steps?

We have a dog, a border collie with a lot of energy, and if she isn’t walked every day, twice a day even, she can get destructive. She also begins to grow overweight.

Walking her is not an option; it just has to be done. Often it’s done around our safe neighborhood after dark, when my wife and I can also take an opportunity to post-mortem the day that’s been, a practice I’ve heard recommended by many.

If my wife is working very late and I’m a lone dog-walker, Poppy doesn’t mind if I get lost in thought, or no thought at all, something else I’ve heard is beneficial.

Tomorrow’s event at Lakeland High could be a good place to pick up some pointers for tackling reality head-on. Turn them into habits, and reap the benefits.

Entry is via canned food donations, and it runs from 1 to 4 p.m.

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