To Thrive in Life You Need Four Bones
It is my experience that to live an even fuller life, or if you are a cardiac patient, you need an additional bone – a jawbone. I am speaking about the JAWBONE UP – a simple wristband and app that promotes three key components every human being needs to incorporate into their heart-healthy lifestyle – exercising regularly, eating well and sleeping well. The Jawbone Up claims itself to be “You at a glance.” It serves as a record for both you and your cardiologist when he asks about your sleep, exercise or eating habits. It keeps me healthy, happy and living life.
Graduating with honors (well, not really, but if there were honors, I would have gotten them!) from a full-fledged Cardiac Rehabilitation program, I left to re-enter the work world with my gift of a pedometer securely tucked along my waistband. I was given complete instructions about the need for exercise. I would feel better and look better and live longer if I would incorporate physical activity into my life, let alone, it would reduce my risk of many chronic diseases. I was given the AHA recommendations:
American Heart Association Recommendation for Physical Activity
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 OR
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75; or a combination of the two AND
- Moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 or more days per week for additional health benefits.
Walking is an ideal physical activity. You can do it anywhere and anytime. Over the years, I have walked the yellow brick road, the trodden path, the local bike trail, multiple malls, hospital corridors, and sidewalks in many neighborhoods. I trick myself into walking more through searches for geocaches, garage sales and by parking a long distance from any destination or appointment I may have scheduled during the day. I listen to iTunes that have just the right beat to keep my feet moving forward. I download songs that repeat such clever phrases as “just a little bit longer” that tease me onward. I have logged into the Endomondo tracking app on my iPhone who refreshed me with reports on my mileage. I have used the Nike iPod sensor and a heart rate monitor and numerous high – finagled pedometers.
They all have delivered the inspiration and impetus to keep me moving. But of the carrots that I use to get me walking and exercising, my JAWBONE UP is by, far, the most motivational. Is it my competitive nature that makes me so in awe of the Jawbone Up? Is it the partnering relationship the Jawbone imparts that creates this heart-healthy lifestyle? There is nothing more fulfilling than syncing my jawbone wristband with my iPhone to see how many steps I have taken and see the message of the day just for me. If I do not meet the goal I have set, I find myself taking more steps to reach the requirement for the day.
The Trends section in my iPhone app for the Jawbone Up serves as positive reinforcement, as I can see my progress or lack thereof. I know that the graphs symbolize the health benefits I have given myself over the days, weeks and months. It provides concrete data showing that “I did it!” It will show gaps in my day if I didn’t. It becomes part of my daily routine every day and every week. It is no longer an optional activity.
Walking has become my life, and the Jawbone Up serves as the documentation and proof of that activity. Yes, I have fled out the door on my walk to “find the Wizard” but never found him. I have taken the road less traveled – never a good idea – increases risk for falls, tripping, and branches in the face. I have taken the high road – try to avoid – increases shortness of breath. We need to “move” and log our steps as we see this picturesque God-given world and explore the gifts of nature. Exercise is a commitment you make to live life. The Jawbone Up on your wrist is there to remind you of that every day, cultivating optimism and seeing the world with goals that are obtainable. It gives you the discipline you need – a personal trainer on your wrist.
Exercise is life. There is no doubt.
Take care of your heart. Take care of your body. Put on your Jawbone UP. Commit to your goals. You can do it! You will become the happiest YOU with increased physical, mental, spiritual and emotional energy.