Lewis Bowling: Add 30 minutes a day to routine in 2013

Jan. 02, 2013 @ 02:32 PM

Exercise can help narrow the gap between what you are and what you can be. Make fitness a regular part of your schedule this new year of 2013. The key is to be consistent and try to get some type of exercise into each of your days. Make it a habit. As the saying goes, “Habit is a cable. We weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.”
As I know many of you out there have included a healthy lifestyle as part of your New Year’s resolutions, let me list some strategies you can use to reach your goals this year.
One of the most common questions I get is this, “What is the best type of exercise for me to do?” My first reply is almost always the same, “The best exercise you can do is the one that you will do on a consistent basis.” I highly encourage you not to do exercise that you simply don’t enjoy; sooner or later you will stop. There it is; no scientific or revolutionary mumbo-jumbo. Walk if that’s your thing. Practice yoga if that’s your thing. Better yet, adopt several different types of exercise into your program.
Another strategy you can use in 2013 is to learn how to manage your time. Here’s the deal very simply. Include at least 30 minutes of exercise into each day. The other 23 and a half hours are yours to do other things. A minimum of 30 minutes daily should be your goal. I know we all have busy schedules, and life can be hectic at times for all of us. But here’s the thing. Once you make exercise a high enough priority, you will simply make time for it. After all, when you really think about it, what should be a higher priority than your health?
Realize you will hit plateaus and make mistakes. Goodness knows, you might even miss an occasional workout. It happens to all of us. If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to it the very next day. Stay focused. As Mary Shelley once said, “Nothing contributes more to tranquility of mind than a sense of purpose.” And as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Enjoy life more this year by making exercise a part of what you do. Let’s work together on this in 2013. In fact, that reminds me. I need about five more minutes of your time once a week to add to the 30 minutes of daily exercise. Each Thursday read this column, and together we can make this year your healthiest ever.
I had a little bit of a problem during Duke’s loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl last week in Charlotte. I make no attempt to hide the fact that I pull for the Blue Devils. But I have a good friend who was the offensive coordinator for Cincinnati, T.J. Weist, who formerly played at Alabama and helped me with a book I wrote on Alabama football. In fact, Coach Weist even invited me to sit with his wife in the Cincinnati section with free tickets, and since he was calling the plays for Cincinnati in the game, he even texted me a little of his game plan the morning of the game. But you can bet I pulled hard for Duke, and despite the loss, prospects look good for Duke football in the coming years under Coach David Cutcliffe.
Brandon Connette of Duke reminds me of another player from Duke’s past, Ace Parker. In the bowl game loss to Cincinnati, Connette did a little of everything. He threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown, and caught four passes for 31 yards. Ace Parker, in the 1936 season, threw 10 completions, caught nine passes, and ran for 647 yards, kicked four extra points, and punted 61 times for a 42-yard average. Oh, I almost forgot, he played outstanding defense as a defensive back. Parker finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting that year, the highest ever for a Duke football player.
Turning to basketball, I attended the Duke-Santa Clara game last week and sat on press row. The Cameron Crazies were not in town, for the most part, but sitting directly behind me, or standing behind me, I should say, was a father and son who had driven up from Atlanta to attend their very first game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Having gone to many games at Cameron over the years, I forget how special it is to some people, but talking with this father and son and seeing how excited they were reminded me how lucky we are to have one of the most famous basketball arenas anywhere in America right here in Durham. At this same game, my wife, Beth, was sitting in her regular seat up in the stands, and a couple attending their first game asked her to take their picture together with the court in the background. The couple said they wanted to post the picture on Facebook to show their friends where they were.
Lewis Bowling teaches at N.C. Central University and Duke University. He is the author of several books on fitness and sports. His website is www.lewisbowling.com. He can be reached at 919-530-6224 and at Lewis_Bowling@yahoo.com.