Stock photo: Fotolia

Along with my many weird traits, like loving winter, I’m fine with air travel. Well, perhaps when I look into the mirror of truth, I should put it another way: I’d better like flying — my kids and grandson live on the West Coast. But seriously, I never had that paralyzing fear of flying that some folks are plagued with. I see it as an adventure — unless we get caught in heavy turbulence, then I lose my “Amelia Earhart” spirit.

However, there is one puzzling aspect to flying, I find it exhausts me — and I cannot always attribute it to a time change. I mean, really, I am sitting, sometimes napping, have beverages and snacks brought at my beck and call, watch a movie, and yet, when I deplane, I often feel drained. For sure, flying tinkers with our bodies with the changes of altitude or air pressure. Being imprisoned in those “comfy” 2 x 2 seats makes the idiom “weary traveler” resonate with me.

After my recent trip to California, I realized it’s not only flying that makes me tired, the same scenario occurs when I am at the hair salon. I emerge sans the gray roots but feel sleepy. I can easily fall asleep mid-manicure. In the past, I attributed my sleepiness from inhaling the chemicals found in the hair dye and nail polish.

For a gal of a certain age (or any age for that matter), I have been blessed with boundless energy. I am a big proponent of exercise and enjoy it! Ah, yes, add this to my list of weird traits. Regular yoga and meditation practice keep my energy flowing. I enjoy challenges and work best when I am up against a deadline (which I usually am).

The more active I am, the more alive I feel and the more I can do. But, this is not the sum total of my existence. I crave my alone and leisure time: walks on the beach, wandering through nature trails listening to music and taking time to just be.

Yet, I know folks who are content living a sedentary lifestyle. Some folks will wait all day to catch “Judge Judy” and consider it the highlight of their day. I am not making a judgment call here — different strokes for different folks. However, it’s funny when asked to go out these folks are too tired. They often berate themselves and say, “tired from doing nothing.”

I get the “tired from doing nothing” thing. Up until now, this phenomenon puzzled me until I did a little research. Lo and behold — there is scientific evidence that confirms that It takes more energy to do nothing. Studies have shown that when sitting, our bodies receive less oxygen, consequently, decreasing blood flow making us feel sluggish.

Well, that makes a lot of sense and shame on me. I’ve worked in healthcare for most of my professional life; this puzzle should have been a no-brainer. As I understand it, we must get moving to get our bodies started. We feel sleepy and crave a cup of java to jump-start our day, however, some simple stretching may do the trick. Eventually, our bodies will get the idea it needs to expend energy to work optimally.

A new year usually heralds resolutions. Why not begin a gentle exercise program? I know, I know, been there done that! Perhaps, you decided your goal was to run a marathon and gave up. Folks, we should be realistic about our goals. We can’t do a hell of a lot if we’re not in shape.

Joining a gym or yoga class, although excellent, can be a tad intimidating. Here some suggestions that fall into the judgment-free zone: Take a walk around the block (you don’t need an exercise outfit). Do some easy stretches. Park your car further from your destination. Take the stairs.

Baby steps (literally) is the way to bigger steps. A word of caution — you may experience a post-exercise no drug “high.” However, like drugs, this “high” can become addictive. As with any addiction, this buzz keeps us coming back for more and voila! we are becoming fit.

Scientific study also reveals that just one hour of exercise weekly can reduce depression risk. When we get moving, it also helps with a myriad of other ailments: Anxiety, job stress, media burnout, scary presidents — and bonus you may lose those over-indulgence holiday pounds.

If my suggestions are falling on deaf ears or not to your liking, try this — tune into YouTube and listen to the recording “Uptown Funk.” I guarantee it will get you shaking your booty!

Don’t believe me? Just watch.

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.

Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in 'retirement' — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.