Taking Pride in Our Bodies
I am so proud to have just become a Delaware and Rehoboth resident. After moving from my hometown in Pittsburgh and spending my adult life in Baltimore and DC—it’s great to call Rehoboth my new home. I’ve dedicated my entire life to creating healthier communities as a health coach and fitness trainer and now I get to continue my passion in Rehoboth.
I’ve been coming to Rehoboth since the late 80s and have always considered the Nation’s Summer Capital my summer home. It was the early 90s when I used to mop off the slippery dance floor of the Strand to prepare to teach high-impact aerobics classes. The dedicated fitness enthusiasts would do jazz squares and knee kicks to prep their bodies for the beach, aiming to look and feel great in their bathing suits.
My columns will focus on health and fitness and will feature ways to Create A More Positive (CAMP) you! I cannot think of a better issue to begin this series than in the Pride issue.
We take pride in our community for how far we have come. We worked diligently to get anti-discrimination bills passed in jurisdictions around the country. We marched and held rallies for marriage equality and basked in the glory of our success. Now that we are surrounded by Pride activities, I would like you to take a moment and think about how you can improve your fitness and take more pride in your health.
In the 90s I was the wellness coordinator at Harbor Hospital, which is part of MedStar in the Baltimore/Washington region. I was hired to start a fitness center for the employees of the hospital. We held a competition to name the fitness center and the winning name was: the FIRM. FIRM stood for Fitness Is Real Medicine. I loved the name and employees loved the FIRM. It was a place where people could gather and enjoy being together while getting fit at the same time.
Personally, I feel that as a society we take far too many medications. Medications to sleep, medications to focus, and medications for stress. In my view, fitness is the best medicine of all. Through fitness we can stimulate the body to build our immune systems and our minds.
There are many health benefits of regular physical activity. Through fitness you can:
• Manage your weight and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Reduce your risk of a heart attack.
• Lower your blood cholesterol level.
• Reduce the risk of some cancers.
• Sleep better.
• Lower you blood pressure.
• Have stronger bones, muscles, and joints which will lower your risk of developing osteoporosis.
• Recover faster from injuries.
• Feel better, with more energy and a better mood.
Additionally, a number of studies have found exercise helps depression. There are many views as to how it does this, including:
• Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract you from daily worries.
• Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact.
• Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve your sleep patterns.
• Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins, and stress hormones.
My goal as a fitness professional in Rehoboth is to encourage us all to take more pride in our bodies and truly adopt a lifestyle of exercise and good nutrition.
We have amazing gyms and specialized fitness studios to help you with this task. Or, take advantage of our large, free, outdoor “gym”—the beach! The beach is a huge playground where you can run, swim, walk, and play while getting vitamin D at the same time. The boardwalk is a mile-long track with benches for step-ups and push-ups. We also have miles and miles of trails including the Junction Breakwater Trail and the Gordons Pond Trail.
As an LGBTQ community, we get to celebrate Pride this month, recognizing how far we have come and how society has changed to accept our constituency in Rehoboth and beyond. Let’s keep our bodies and minds healthy to continue the journey.
Be PROUD and stay healthy!
Happy Pride! ▼
Jon Adler Kaplan is a health coach and fitness trainer virtually and at Rise Fitness and Adventure. Email Jon with any fitness questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.