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Thursday, March 7, 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE by Gloria Alden

                                                              
Awhile back I heard that walking is done less by people in the United States than any other country in the world. In fact, a radio report said less than 13% of Americans walk on a regular basis. I didn’t hear the whole report, just this little bit of information, but I’m sure it didn’t include the walking we do to and from our cars or to the refrigerator to get a bowl of ice cream. I wonder if walking up and down an escalator counts?
I think most writers or office workers don’t get enough exercise, and I’m one of them. After all writing is a sedentary job. Even much of our social interaction is done sitting at a computer or on a phone. And on the times we meet family and friends in person; usually it’s to go to lunch or dinner as I will be doing today, with two sisters and a sister-in-law, or maybe to a movie, concert or the theater as I did a few nights ago. More sitting.
I’ll admit I’ve never liked the bend and stretch and other boring types of exercises. Years ago I’d sometimes exercise with some TV guru. It never lasted. I had a cheap treadmill once, but found that monotonous, too. Once I had a stationary bike in my laundry room. I’d peddle away for a half hour every day watching Jeopardy on a small TV over my sewing machine, but that was years ago in another house, and going to a gym doesn’t appeal. The closest one is almost ten miles away and rather expensive, and I neither want to spend the time nor the money.
However, the one exercise I do enjoy is walking. Every morning during spring, summer and fall when the weather is nice, I go for a walk in my woods that lasts a half hour or more, and if I go beyond my woods it’s much longer. The only time I skip the walk is if it’s winter and cold and if it’s raining. I use a walking stick and sometimes two which are old broom sticks. They not only help me walk, but also help me brush down any spider webs across the trail.
All the years of camping with my family; husband, kids, parents and brothers and sisters included a lot of hiking. We’d take at least one trail in the morning and sometimes another one later in the day. All my siblings and my youngest daughter, Mary, still like to hike. When I go to California to visit Mary, she always plans hikes for every day often in a redwood forest. When my siblings and I get together for extended camping trips, hikes are a definite part of the activities. My youngest brother is even a marathon runner, an extreme form of walking, I’d say. He’d probably be horrified I’m relating what he does to walking, but marathon runners do slow to walking at times during a race.
Other exercises of mine are carrying buckets of water to ponies and chickens, cleaning stalls at least once a month or more often, and sometimes shoveling snow in the winter. But my exercising really increases in spring and summer. Then it’s also spading the vegetable bed, planting, weeding and mowing the lawn and not with a riding mower, either, and so many other yard and garden chores.  All this cuts into my writing time, but I consider it helping me to live longer so in the long run I’ll have more years to write. Did I mention before that I’m an optimist?
What do you do for exercise? Do you think you get enough exercise?

6 comments:

Kait said...

Good for you, Gloria and you have a great property on which to enjoy exercise at home and when you add in the hikes...You're doing fine.

I'm a runner and a swimmer, although I admit since I broke my wrist this summer I let the running go. I'm working my way back up with jog/walk intervals. We've just finished pool restoration this week after Hurricane Irma so when summer heat arrives - I'm ready. Hopefully I'll be back to my 3 mile daily runs with a five miler one weekend day followed by a swim a day - weather willing - when May dawns sticky damp.

E. B. Davis said...

I get to the gym three times per week. It's a must for me. My thinking is clearer, my temperament more even, and my body, stronger. In January, my gym closed. Luckily, a new gym was opening, but there was a lapse of a month. It was too cold to workout outside. Not an experience I want to go through anytime soon.

KM Rockwood said...

Getting enough exercise to stay healthy can be a problem, especially for those of us who live in rural areas.

When I lived in the city, I walked everywhere in the neighborhood. And took a bus when I had to go further. Now, nothing but the mailbox is within walking distance.

Before my knee & heart problems became obvious, I used to take the dogs for walks on a daily basis, several miles in good weather.

I have to make a conscious effort now to keep up with an exercise routine. I have a morning "flex" class a few times a week. It's an aquatics class aimed at those with arthritis. I've made wonderful friends there, and since it's low intensity and someone leads us in the exercises, we spend most of the time chatting. It's amazing the moves your body can handle in the water that you couldn't begin to manage on land.

Gloria Alden said...


Kait, I love to swim, too, but I have to admit I don't swim very often. My daughter has a swimming pool, but she also has teenagers so I'm a little self conscious about swimming with my grandchildren and their friends. I do have a pond back by my woods but I've only swam in that a few times. It has snapping turtles in it.

E.B. I don't have a gym near me so I don't go to that. My walking this winter is mostly only over to my son's home where I feed the two peafowl every morning. The road I live on has too much traffic and a lot of huge trucks going down it so there's no way I'll walk down the road although I used to before it started having so much traffic.

KM I hear you on that. When I used to go to visit family members who lived in a town I enjoyed walking on sidewalks with them. I'm glad you found a class where you can exercise and make friends, too. I agree that being in water helps a lot.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I walk the dogs every day and hit the gym three times a week. Heavy yard work as soon as the snow melts and the ground thaws. Swimming in the summer.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret, my dog Maggie doesn't need walked. I let her out and she goes out to do her business and stays away from the road. She also goes out with me every morning when I do my barn chores. It sounds like you're getting a lot of good exercise. Probably more than me although once spring really comes and summer I'll be mowing my lawn and working in my gardens, too.