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Fit For Life: Making Sacrifices

Saturday, May 17, 2014


For our children.

We have all done it at one time or another. We sometimes do it on a daily basis. Every good person makes sacrifices. If you have children, your life is a sacrifice. You have to sacrifice most of your time, money, and energy so you can take care of, and insure that your child lives a happy, healthy, and productive life. Everything in a child's life depends on you and the amount of energy you put into their upbringing. If you do not make sacrifices, a problem child will arise and a lifetime of heartbreak could follow.

For our family.

If you have elderly parents, or someone in your family gets sick, you will be making many sacrifices in your life to help them, unless you are fortunate enough to afford full time help. You may even live in a certain place that you don't like being, just to be close to your family, or you may forgo a well needed vacation, just to attend a friend’s wedding, or an event of a child in the family. These are all examples of the sacrifices we make to please others; those instances when we put someone's needs or happiness before our own.

But – what about YOU?

But the one sacrifice you should not make and, be completely selfish about, is maintaining good health, and taking care of YOU. This doesn't mean that you will eat quality food and your family eats junk, or that you deprive anyone of the essentials, this means that when it comes to your health, you should be #1. You can't take care of others, unless you can first take care of yourself. It's like they tell you on an airplane "put on YOUR oxygen mask first" before you assist someone else. I like this analogy because it correlates well to your own health and fitness, meaning that if you are sick or have many ailments yourself, you can't be too helpful to others.

When I hear my friends say, I do not have time to exercise, because all my time is devoted to my kids, I ask them how much time will your kids spend with you if you have a heart attack and die? Or how useful are you if you are too heavy to play ball or go swim with them? That usually opens one’s eyes, and gets them thinking. Besides setting a good example, living healthy makes you are a happier and more productive person, and that will make everyone better off. Eating healthy shouldn't be unattainable or too expensive. If you and your spouse are living well, driving new cars, going out for dinner frequently, and your kids belong to every sport and activity available, then think about your priorities. If expense is your reason for letting your health diminish, you need to reassess the situation. Make cuts to your time and budgets accordingly, so you can eat right and exercise.

Sacrificing your health for others is the wrong sacrifice to make. Your health and wellbeing should be your main priority in life over family, money, work and friends. It is ok to put yourself first in this one particular instance, because it will translate to a better you, and this will give off positive energy. And – you will be teaching your family lifelong habits that will benefit them, too. If people see your dedication as a little selfish, then turn it on them and let them know that it is more selfish if you don't put your health first, because you will eventually burden others with your own ailments, and require others to sacrifice for you. As in most things, lead by example. It will mean less sacrifice for everyone in the long run.

Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: matt@fitnessprofiles.net, check out his website at http://www.fitnessprofiles.net or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut. 


Related Slideshow: Getting Out: Best Bike Trails

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East Bay Bike Path: Veterans Memorial Parkway, East Providence, Barrington, Rhode Island, 02806

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Blackstone River Bikeway

The Blackstone River Bikeway is Rhode Island’s third largest bike path extending 11.6 miles from Woonsocket to Cumberland. Parts of this path run alongside the Blackstone River and canal making this a scenic route. This path is envisioned to ultimately connect Providence to the Massachusetts border and connect to the East Bay Bike Path. This path shares the roadway with vehicles and is intended for experienced bikers. For more information, click here.

Blackstone River Bikeway: Cumberland Hill, Cumberland, RI, 02864

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Washington Secondary Bike Path

As Rhode Island’s second largest bike path, The Washington Secondary Bike Path extends 14.2 miles from Cranston Street to Central Coventry. Construction has started on this path and when finished the path will run 25 miles from the Connecticut border to close to Providence. For more than half of its length, the path runs parallel to the Pawtuxet River and on-road routes for experienced bikers have been marked by the East Coast Greenway Alliance. For more information, click here.

Washington Secondary Bike Path: Cranston, RI, 02920

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Cape Cod Rail Trail

This Cape Cod bike trail follows the route of a former railroad for 22 miles. This bike path has a paved surface, few hills, and has well-marked automobile crossings making it ideal for cycling. The trail’s unpaved shoulder is also perfect for runners and walkers. The best part of this trail is its location. There are plenty of opportunities to get off the trail and hit the beach so you can rest and enjoy the warm weather. For more information, click here.

Cape Cod Rail Trail: Wellfleet, MA, 02667

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South County’s William C. O’Neill Bike Path

The South County bike path extends 7 miles through the towns of Peace Dale, Wakefield, Narragansett and ends near the Narragansett Town Beach. This path has a gentle hill in the middle of the trail from Kingston Station to Peace Dale and has moderate ups and downs throughout. For more information, click here.

South County’s William C. O’Neill Bike Path: South Kingston, RI, 02879

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Nashua River Rail Trail

The Nashua River Rail Trail travels along numerous scenic overlooks and is a 10 foot wide paved trail that extends 11 miles. The trail extends through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable. The entire trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists, inline skaters and wheel chairs. The Ayer trailhead also offers access to commuter rail service between Boston and Fitchburg. For more information, click here.

Nashua River Rail Trail: Groton, MA, 01450

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Ten Mile River Greenway

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Ten Mile River Greenway: Pawtucket, RI, 02861

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Woonasquatucket River Greenway

As a way to renew the area around the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, a bicycle path was constructed. This path links recreational areas, destination sites and the towns of Manton, Hartford, Olneyville, Valley and Smith Hill to each other and to Waterplace Park in downtown Providence. For more information, click here.

Woonasquatucket River Greenway: Johnston, RI, 02919

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Minuteman Bikeway

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Minuteman Bikeway: Arlington, MA, 02474

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Warren Bike Path

The Warren Bike Path is one of the newest bike paths in Rhode Island. This path which opened in 2010 runs one mile from the Kickemuit River to Long Lane, close to the Massachusetts border. This path is mostly level and provides connections to Kickemuit Middle School, Hugh Cole Elementary School, and Warren Recreation Park making it a perfect means of transportation. For more information, click here.

Warren Bike Path: Asylum Road, Warren, RI, 02885 


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