Is fitness your best insurance policy?

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Kevin Brunson at UFC Gym Reno


On June 8th (2021), the Reno Gazette Journal published an online article for subscribers only about my 5,000th daily running streak milestone which occurred on June 13, 2021.

The benefit of the article is I feel like it’s been a coming out moment for me and it has blessed me with the opportunity to share my fitness philosophy.

I have a similar story of many runners I have had the privilege to run with in the Greater Reno Nevada running community. I was recruited for the Swope junior high school after doing well in the mandatory one mile run for physical education class. I started running in 5th grade for two reasons. One my mouth often wrote checks my body couldn’t cash. Thus, I was always the smallest boy in my class until about 10th grade. Even then I was painfully thin, so I was no match for some of the larger boys. Secondly a friends dad told me the best way to become a better downhill snow skier was to run.

I was excited to run cross country, although I had no idea how painful it was going to be. Because of this I understand why running is not loved by most of the population. Plus, the fact that running is the punishment for most other sports.

Fast forward to me sitting at a desk at age 39. I was in a lot of lunch dinner, type meetings, so I was eating caloric foods, and not exercising. I was wondering what to do about, when I discovered a book at the library, that stated to find exercise that you love to do as a child and lost the passion. The book suggested that IF you regain the passion then boom your participating in an activity you enjoy.

Just like that I was back to consistent running and fortunately, two plus decades later I’m still enjoying the running journey. So back to the title of this post. I believe that most of us want to move but have either had a bad experience with exercise or just don’t know how to get started. After you start, how do you stay consistent?

What if you don’t have to exercise to burn calories that allow you to eat pie with your dinner without worry about weight gain.

For me it’s to move. For people able to walk, this should be your go to movement. If you’re like me, I love to dance, and I’ve been involved in dance as a hobby since I was four years. My dad allowed me to dance if I didn’t do it public (LOL). He was embarrassed by my hip gyrations.

So back to walking. I started walking as a cool down after my runs two decades ago. But today I find almost any excuse to walk. Its low impact, the activity allows me to move with sweating profusely on cool days and you do not have to have special equipment.

The big secret about movement habits, is once they become part of your routine, hopefully you won’t think about it. Just do it!

To me the big challenge with not moving is thinking about it. If you change to doing things you enjoy, hopefully you will change your personal paradigm. From dreading to move, to I can’t wait to go see so and so. Go hiking, visit a local park, walk to the bank, to get your morning coffee.

Another trick, you own an iPhone use the apple health app. For me they are very motivational because I compete with myself. If I run/walked for 4 miles a day last week, I try to average closer to 5 miles the following week. Once you start competing with yourself, the sky is the limit.

At this point in the post, I want to discuss my disagreement with the concept that your body weight is 80% diet and 20% movement. The reality is it hasn’t worked for me. Never. The only thing that has worked for me is burning more calories, then I intake. I have a sweet tooth. I like desert, and because I’m passionate about mountain trails, I burn enough calories to have that piece of pie with dinner.

Having a strict diet has never worked, and the people in my life have had the same experience. If you change your mindset to passion of doing different things that make you active, then a strict diet can be a thing of the past.

So back to the title. By being fit, you are being proactive with your health. By doing this you can eliminate many problems created by being sedentary, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol to name a few.

It can be very encouraging when the nurse asked you why your resting heart rate is so low, and other positive health statistics that happen just because you became passionate about moving. This may be another reason to start your moving more habit today.

Through out my life I’ve had almost every bad habit, I didn’t smoke cigarettes, but I used Copenhagen for about seven years. I’ve had many other bad for your health habits. Here is the thing, once you become active you may find you simply outgrow some of these habits.

If you’re still reading this post, you know that I’m an advocate for movement. It’s true, but what’s interesting is I no longer think about it. I’m a daily streak runner (at least one mile a day) for 14 years plus and the primary reason is I just open the door and go. Sometimes I’m on the trail and wonder how I got there. It sounds crazy but it’s 100 percent true. If I do hesitate in my mind, I just think of the tranquility I feel when in the mountains. Next thing, I’m in my car driving to the trailhead.

Therefore, I believe that fitness is your best insurance policy. Think of your own personal reasons to start moving more, write them down, and before you know it, you will be fit!!

This post was written by Kevin Brunson, independent insurance agent with Ardent Insurance (