Unbalanced. But Trying. Para mi Corazon.
It’s a little sad when you covet the endurance and body fat percentage of a woman at least 25-years-older than you are.
But, that happened to me this summer when I was bouncing around in the water, working on my solo aerobics program when a beautiful, athletic, woman — who had to be nearly 70 — slid into the pool and swam lap after lap after lap. It was yet another “Aha” moment for me, that if I don’t use it, I am going to lose it. And, what she has, I have never had, anyway. Even in my 20s. So, I have mucho work to do.
My husband is a different story. A life-long athlete who ran marathons in his prime, he now bikes about 200 miles a week. His butt is very, very tight and his resting pulse is just as enviable, let me tell you.
He never shames my lack of athleticism, but as I turn the corner toward 45, there have been gentle reminders to honor my body more, to strengthen my weak writer’s arms, and to be more consistent in my exercise. But, as la Mami, it’s too easy to put myself last and skip the workout. So far, I’ve been blessed with excellent health, pero we go back to that use it, or lose it, thing.
So, when I accepted a fun gig to become a Nintendo Wii Brand Ambassador, I did it with a few things in mind:
- It is time for me to see regular exercise as crucial
- It is imperative to me my daughter grow up seeing both her parents enjoy, and benefit from, exercise
- And it gives me a platform to talk about heart health and heart disease — something that deeply affects the Latino community, especially women. And, of course, heart disease has affected my own family.
Nintendo has teamed with the American Heart Association to spread the word on heart health and active play. I will use this space throughout the year to share how I am using the Wii games for exercise, plus statistics, information and tips for improving heart health. Consider it the Tiki Tiki’s PSA campaign for 2011.
When I tried the Wii Fit Nintendo gave my family, the thing told me I was 57-years-old. Nearly every game I have played has called me Unbalanced, which I find funny and sad on many fronts. That’s just not right, people! I’ve done the hula hoops, obstacle course and I’ve messed around with the kick-your-culo yoga. I also bought a Jillian Michaels coaching program I am afraid to put in. She scares me. I did her Shred once and could barely sit for days.
As a family, we’ve played the Wii games and laughed. And, the kid cried a little when her father beat her a golf. So, I’m hoping this new, shiny object we have at home will add to the determination I’ve got going on to be the sleek and heart-healthy vieja some young mujercita admires one day.
Do you have a Wii? Have you used it for exercise?
Additionally, what steps are you taking to stay heart-healthy?
Important links and stats from the American Heart Association:
- Get a free online assessment from the AHA at My Life Check.
- Go Red Para Tu Corazón is an AHA program focused on raising awareness for Latina women. Why? Because heart disease is the number one killer of Hispanic women. And, on average, women of Hispanic heritage develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian, non-Hispanic women.
- More than 8 percent of Hispanics, ages 18 and older have heart disease.
- A downloadable PDF with statistics about Latinos and heart disease.
- Start Walking Now is a great tool from the AHA, with tips, recipes, grocery list builder, free videos and inspiration.
Will you join me in getting more active in 2011?
* Disclosure: As a Nintendo Wii Brand Ambassador, through Brand About Town, I received a free game system, Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort, and was treated to a party with friends to learn more about the Wii and heart health. The opinions expressed in this essay are mine and the facts true.