Of course I don't mean for you to stop just yet, but eventually, that's exactly what I'm going to ask you to do.

As you may have read already in a few of my previous articles, I've got some cholesterol issues going on. OK, so I also have some weight issues going on. Alright, diet issues too. By the time this article gets posted, it will be just over a week since I have actually started "trying" to live better. I have started eating better, and my wife has helped me so much by creating a list of things that I'm able to eat without sending myself into the cardiac ICU. But there is more to all of this than just eating right.

I sit on my bottom (yes, I have two kids at home and we use the word "bottom" around our house) pretty much all day and stare at a computer monitor. The most activity that I see in a typical morning is when I've had one too many cups of coffee and my leg starts hoping, which incidentally annoys the crud out of my co-workers. Yes, I'm about to bring it up. I know you don't like to hear it, but you need to keep reading. Don't turn away, but here it comes... (gasp!) Exercise.

Now, that wasn't so bad was it? I hope not, because if you are seriously going to take this trip with me, then it is something you are going to have to get used to hearing about, and even doing. Exercising is hard, especially when you first start. Trust me when I say that you will feel as if you want to crawl under a rock and just die. How do I know? Because I started exercising about 2 months ago.

I know you are probably throwing your soda cans at the computer monitor right now because you are angry. "Joey", you say, "You said we were going to do this thing together." Please give me an opportunity to explain. My youngest daughter and I started taking Karate classes at Bill Taylor's Bushido School of Karate in May. She tried soccer, but like me when I was younger, just does not seem to have that "team sport" mentality. When I was in high school, I began Tae Kwon Do lessons. This was quite possibly the best decision that I have ever made for myself physically. I was able to lose quite a bit of weight, build strength in my muscles, and increase my endurance. However, once I started my university studies I did not continue this training, and in the following years slowly digressed to the poor state that I am in today.

Getting my daughter into a sport was just the encouragement that I needed. Keep in mind that my dietary habits did not change (and should have), but at least I was exercising. At first, it was very difficult. Because of my weight, the arches of my feet hurt quite a bit. When in class I did not have the benefit of my prescription insoles, which made matters even worse than normal. They still bother me sometimes, but not nearly as much. I believe this is due to my training strengthening those muscles in my feet, because I have not lost a significant amount of weight. I can now do 30 sit-ups where before I could only get to 10, and I can even do 20 good push-ups on a good day! Just within these two brief months, I have truly noticed a difference.

I do not get special treatment for this at school, nor do I make a commission or receive discounts for saying this, but I want to take a moment to tell you about Sensei Taylor's program. I have not had the privilege of meeting Bill Taylor in person yet, but I have been taught by his students. The program director at the location where I attend, Lane Wommack, is very encouraging. He is patient, has a good sense of humor, and pushes you to do your best. Mike Wilson is an excellent martial artist, and helps to teach you practical self-defense techniques. Rob Chisum is great and very good when dealing with classes of mixed ages, and I can feel his teaching in my feet after class! Steve Demumbreum does an excellent job of teaching, and it is almost certain that my legs will be sore on the day following his classes. There are ot her in structors at our location, but I have not had them in classes yet. However, these four men certainly make you want to go to class, as opposed to making you think that you can suffer through it.

Now, I certainly do not think that martial arts training is the right course for everyone. The point that I am trying to make here is that you have to do something. You can read about fitness all day long, but until you start exercising you will not be any better off than you are now. Trust me, because I'm speaking from experience. It will likely be difficult for the first month, and possibly even two, but you will eventually start feeling better. You will find that you are able to sleep more soundly at night. If (like me) you have problems with insomnia, you may find that you are able to get to sleep faster.

Of course you need to consult with your physician before starting any physical training program, but I suspect your doctor will tell you that exercise of one type or another will be great for you, though you may have some special needs that should be addressed in your individual training regiment.

Are you still here? What are you waiting for? Get up off your duff and do something! Trust me, you won't regret it...