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JOE BLACK: Emphasizing movement seven times to make it stick | Joe Black

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It has been said that we must hear something seven times before it sinks in. I believe that — although I won’t go so far as to say especially with teenagers and spouses because I’m surrounded by those.

I’m going to try and avoid any reference to non-network news agencies. But I will say I long for the day of Walter Cronkite, although Lester Holt comes close.

It does seem like people can hear one snippet from a so-called “expert” and take it for the gospel. And if they see it on TV, well, it has to be the truth. You might not wait to hear it seven times before you believe it.

So before I digress into politics, let me turn things back to something I know a little more about: How to be healthy.

After last week’s column, a neighbor caught me in the yard while he and his wife were out walking their dogs. He declared that he had taken to heart my admonition to “just move!”

That really is the absolute best advice I can give anyone. It doesn’t really matter how you do it. Just move.

Another friend once said I needed to have one of those WWJD bracelets printed up, only this one would be What Would Joe Do? I probably do a lot more things wrong than I do right, but I can tell you that I have totally bought into the concept of moving. Every day.

A whole sedentary day doesn’t exist in my world. I’m always on the go. When we go to the beach, you won’t find me lying on the beach. Ever. I’m going to be doing something. Snorkeling. Diving. Paddle boarding. Kayaking.

My downtime on the beach is spent building sand sculptures. I build a mean octopus. But laying out in the sun on a beach chair? Not gonna happen.

So, what is movement? Does yard work count? Does walking the dogs? Yes, of course. The possibilities are endless.

One of my grandchildren is fond of asking, “What is your favorite holiday?” For him, it’s definitely Christmas. For me, Thanksgiving. Food and family. No pressure. Eat what you want. Sit around and visit.

However, the best “other” thing you could have done on that day was to get a little exercise in that morning (move) or go for a walk after the food has had a chance to settle in. If you did just that, good for you. If not, I guarantee you would have felt better.

Even on top of that Tryptophan-induced nap, you still need to move. It’s not about burning calories as much as it is about turning up your metabolism and avoid sitting around where your body does nothing but store all those Thanksgiving calories.

Yes, it’s still important that you do something several times a week that gets your heart beat up and I won’t stop preaching about the need to regularly participate in strength training, especially where your core is concerned, but that’s all just part of keeping moving.

So, has my message come through loud and clear? Do you understand that you don’t have to run a marathon or bike 50 miles? That you just have to move? However and whenever you can. It would be wrong for anyone to tell you exactly what you have to do. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you.

You just have to remember one thing: You just need to move — and there is your seven.

Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Blount Memorial Hospital’s Total Rehabilitation. Write to Joe at joeblackdpt@gmail.com.



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