As promised, here is the 2nd installment of bicycle safety (see the first post – Let’s Be Careful Out There). And really, this list covers all types of physical activity – not just cycling. I wasn’t too thrilled to write this post because I DON’T DO ANY OF THESE THINGS! At least not consistently. Any why? For the same reason a lot of people don’t do them – because they require extra time and commitment in our already busy lives.
THE HARD STUFF
Yearly Physical: Okay, I get it that most women do get yearlies, but usually only for the type involving stirrups (which don’t even have the decency to be attached to a horse. If I have to have my feet in stirrups, there better be a pony around somewhere). How many of you get a full physical, including blood work and a mammogram or prostate check? Does your doctor even know you exercise? Have you specifically asked him/her to clear you for physical activity? Yeah, me neither.
CPR: Also known as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Most of us have seen someone perform CPR on TV, so we all have an ‘idea’ of how it’s supposed to be done. On the ride I mentioned in my first post, there was a nurse certified in CPR on the ride, and she saved a life that night. Had she not been there, would anyone else have had enough knowledge from “seeing it on TV” to save that life? Probably not. I plan on taking CPR classes this winter. Heck, what else is there to do in Wisconsin when it’s 40 below? I’m kind of scared and nervous, though, because it feels like a big responsibility. So if anyone else wants to do it with me, let me know! It’s always easier to do something hard with a friend. Or, maybe misery truly does love company.
First Aid: Pretty much the same thing as CPR, but without all the scary parts. Like, it would be way easier to learn how to apply pressure to a wound or squirt some Bactine on a knee scrape, than to do chest compressions and mouth to mouth. Unless it was Johnny Depp or George Clooney, in which case mouth to mouth might not be THAT scary. Still, should someone break a leg, step on a nail, wonk their head, or poke their eye out with the scissors you told them not to run with, you would be very glad you knew the basics of first aid.
Diet: I think this is the hardest one. We have access to and ingest so much crap, it’s unbelievable. Donuts, bacon, ice cream, potato chips, cake, candy bars, french fries, quarter pounders, fried chicken, pizza. Don’t like veggies? Wrap them in bacon! Pour cheese on them! Add more bacon! And if that’s not enough, let’s deep fry those suckers. Oh, and these Twinkies need some doctoring up – chuck them in that deep fryer while you’re at it. And add more bacon. Our arteries would cry if anything could fit thru them anymore. America does not understand “in moderation”. Just take a look at the size of Texas and our 15 trillion dollars of debt. But I can make difference in my own little world, and eat more veggies, fruit, lean meats and whole grains. And my body will thank me by continuing to function as the highly trained athletic body it is… BAH HAHAHAHAHHAAA. Okay, it will thank me by hopefully not collapsing during a burpee.
Rest: As much as I love to work out (cough, cough), my body needs at least one or two rest days a week. Lately, that hasn’t been an issue with the cooler weather and less available light after work for biking. But sometimes in spring and summer, I forget that my body might just need a break, and skipping a day of intense exercise won’t cause my fat cells to throw a frat party. It just means I will regenerate and heal, allowing me to become stronger. Rest includes getting sufficient amounts of sleep, and for night owls like me, this is a challenge of Goliath proportions. Seriously. If I start going to bed before 11 each night, check the skies for the horses of the apocalypse. Which is exactly why God invented “naps”. Getting enough rest also means I will be less prone to injury, less likely to nod off while riding my bike, thus pedaling over a cliff like a mindless lemming, and less addicted to the detrimental affects of low cash flow caused by excessive trips to Starbucks.
And that’s it! Of course, I might have missed something, so if you think of anything to add, please comment below! I love to hear from you and always welcome your opinions and ideas.
Tune in next week for my 3 part series on a special guest! No, he’s not Superman, but darn close!