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Why Tuesday?

The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And on one day,,, she rested


Oh my girlfriends…. May I say that as I write this it is in fact my day off and I find myself in bed? No, I am not unwell. No, there was no sale on 8000 thread count sheets and no, I am not suffering the ill effects of one too many cocktails. Truth be told- I had one Chinese margarita last night at my favourite fusion bistro but ONE was my limit.

Please my sisters- don’t judge. Make no mistake- I have me a new fitness goal of completing a Half Iron Man and I am training like a motherfucker.

But something in this get up and go girl, just got up and went. Here I am laying like broccoli in my 600 thread counts on a perfect Friday morning. My schedule suggests I should be running and biking but my head suggests I should lay here for another 6-8 hours and watch every episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This of course is not appropriate triathlon training behaviour but somehow my heart just won’t budge.

Well, my sisters… the heart wants what the heart wants.

This brings me to a rather new concept for me… THE REST DAY.

I am rather unfamiliar with the concept of rest day. And yes, like every misstep of my personality…. I blame my mother.

Mama is a woman who can’t sit still. God love the little energetic woman who gave me life but truly- I blame her for not being able to rest for a given period of time.

Let’s be clear- my mama is a pretty amazing lady. She raised two kids while working full time and she has a “no-nonsense” way of going about things. To this day she is 72 years old and still walks on a  treadmill every morning for an hour…. With a knee brace. The broad (and I say broad with the highest of honours) is unstoppable.

Some of my best conversations with my mother were held with her back to me. Yes, my sisters- she was doing the dishes and I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my homework. Now as an adult- our best conversations are held by telephone. She is on the other end of the line walking on a treadmill and I am on my Bluetooth biking over the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

Yes, Mama taught me many a great things- chief among them was that an object in motion stays in motion.

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about my relative inability to sit still. Sure there are the odd days where I do indeed lay like broccoli but for the most part, I am a woman who does not like to take a load off on a regular basis. Perhaps I’m afraid that once I sit down, I may never get back up again, or perhaps it’s a clinical thing that I chose to ignore in order to get things done.

Analyze all you like my sisters…. I will lay here and see which housewife is the nastiest. Discuss amongst yourselves and get back to me.

And so I went looking for the scientific evidence to determine if my days spent in motion could indeed be blamed on my mother.

A large scale trial published in the British Medical Journal in 2007 showed a glimpse of such a link. The study looked at the correlation between physical activity in kids and that of their parents.

A total of 11 952 children from the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children were invited to participate in study clinics at age 11 years. Of these, 7159 (59.9%) attended the clinic and 6622 (92.5%) agreed to wear an accelerometre.

An accelerometer is a device you wear that tells you how active you are in a day.

Of the children who agreed to participate, 5595 (84.5%) returned accelerometres.

The study showed that children who were born to physically active parents and children who were born to mothers who were active during pregnancy were significantly more active by age 11 than those were from sedentary families.

Others factors did not affect a child’s physical activity. For example- when kids were born and how many siblings they had did not affect physical activity.

Although this study does not really allow me to blame my dear mother for my need to multitask at all times- it does give me some insight into just how I get things done.

Our parents really do impart upon us a sense of certain norms…. Whether we should play sports or whether we should work full time, work out like a crazy person and the do paperwork while watching television…. All these things may indeed be influenced by what our parents do.

And so another week begins and ends and I spent an entire day in bed…. I did not shower, I did not move….. I did however, like a good daughter, phone my mother. After all she may have gotten me into this mess in the first place.


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