Make today a ‘Right’ day

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer

This time of year holds many special moments.  Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or some creative combination, December is filled with hopes, promises, delights, and traditions for all ages.

In addition to religious observances, December also holds significance in more secular realms. Human Rights Day is observed every year on the 10th of December. This important yet often unrecognized “holiday” commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

For many of us, the term “human rights” takes us back to our days in Middle School History class, where we were taught that everyone in this country deserves the inalienable gifts of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  In political terms, yes, this was indeed the intention of our forefathers.  However, what does this mean to us today?

I have come to realize that life does not always proceed according to plan.  Relationships wax and wane, jobs come and go, and even our health is not to be taken for granted. However, I like to operate under the optimistic premise that it is my human right to do my very best each day with the blessings I have been given.  For me, this definitely includes the blessing of mobility.

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With so many events and obligations competing for our time during the holiday season, it is easy to put fitness on the back burner. After all, shopping and cooking and holiday gatherings with family and friends are important, too.  However, this year, especially on December 10th, I’d encourage you to prioritize exercise.  Acknowledging that our bodies were designed to move, this is the perfect way to honor such a blessing.  In fact, it is your Human Right to embrace the gift and utilize it in ways that can best serve you, both now and in the future.

Regardless of age, aptitude, or level of conditioning, incorporating fitness into your lifestyle today will provide you with much more than that temporary endorphin “high”.  Such a commitment will also enable you to navigate challenging times, manage stress more effectively, and become a master at time management. If you consider any of these important, along with a healthier body, take a moment to realize that whatever your level of capability, it is indeed your human right to seize the moment and become active.

With blessings for a wonderful season, I wish each of you a happy and healthy “Human Rights Day”!  Now, get out there and be a verb!