I decided not to write a Christmas letter this year. The laughter generated from my family’s dysfunctional tales would have burned enough calories to heat my sister’s home for the three weeks we stayed there during the ice storm last winter.
Take Christmas night. My grown daughter, Candice, who lives with me, was reluctant to leave the house to visit her father, my ex-husband, because her baby was sick. That meant my ex and his partner came to us and ended up in our basement celebrating Christmas. I sat upstairs in my bedroom to stay out of their personal family time.
As my husband led my ex-husband out to the main highway, I dissolved into laughter over this latest “awkward” moment. When I recovered, my core felt like I had been doing stomach crunches and my spirit was light. I was reminded how good belly laughs—a particularly fun form of exercise—are for you.
Here’s what the latest research says about regular exercise: Even moderate physical activity can boost the immune system and protect against chronic diseases.
“Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging… Regular exercise—as simple as a brisk 30- to 45-minute walk five times a week—can boost the body’s immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria.” (“The Hidden Benefits of Exercise,” The Wall Street Journal)
A brisk 30- to 45-minute walk five times a week. You can do that! Don’t procrastinate by looking for the best gym membership, or deciding which exercise program is right for your schedule. Keep it simple. Get out there and take a walk, today! It is good for you, and now is the time of year to develop the healthy habit of regular exercise.
You know, maybe I will send that Christmas letter after all—a hearty core-shaking laugh will be good for everyone who reads it.
Happy New Year to all and may God bless each of you with good health, a sound mind and a joyful heart in 2010.