Read the name of this post aloud. Now, read it again with a Russian accent. Now, pretend that you are barking a command to a platoon of new recruits to the Soviet army.

Good, now you sound like my gymnastics coach, Yefim. Yefim is an ex-Olympian and I am lucky enough to train with him once a week at the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, where I have been going since the fall. I am on the road to winning “most improved”, but that’s partially because my second class I cut my foot open on a springboard and needed stitches. It’s all uphill from there, really.

The second installment of my weight loss series is not about gymnastics specifically. All that I’m saying is that, if you want to be truely healthy, you need to find some kind of physical activity that feels good, ignites your passion, and makes you sweat. Most of us spend our days sitting at a computer. In fact, if we are not sitting at our desks, there is a general perception that we are slacking off or not doing our jobs. Maybe this sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons why America has an obesity epidemic on its hands.

Maybe you decide to take a dance class, or perhaps you and your friends decide to put together a basketball game. Maybe your thing is roller skating or fencing or Parkour. Maybe you ride a bike. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it a couple of times a week. Me, I go to gymnastics once or twice a week and spend the rest of my week lifting weights, doing yoga, or doing cardio specifically to make myself a better gymnast. Working out is not only going to burn calories, it’s also going to increase your resting metabolic rate and improve your heart and lung function. It’s going to help you sleep better and need less sleep every night. It’s good for treating depression and reducing stress. So, make a point to get outside a few times a week, even if you start by walking. Personally, I started by walking in the mornings before work. That was August, and now it’s February and I’ve got a verifiable gun show going on.

Editor’s note: Disclaimer: I did not go to gymnastics class this week because of work, but I will be making every attempt to go twice next week.