I know it already. I’ve been taught it repeatedly. I’ve even told the fact to others, as though it is some wise maxim that I use to guide my life. But the truth is, while I know I must make exercise fun in order to do it, I usually just don’t bother with the fun or the exercise.
But now, at this “ripe old age,” I’m coming to grips with the reality that exercise is directly related to health but not just in the sense I knew from younger years. True, exercise will trim the waistline a bit and give the heart something productive to pound about. But more recently, I’m learning that exercise also calms my nerves and leaves me with an unexplained sense of well-being. So it makes me look good, feel good and have a deep sense of gratitude? Yeah, well… guess I’d better do it.
My current exercise program involves 4-5 miles of brisk walking. It might be nice if I did this daily but that doesn’t happen. If I manage it 3 times a week… I’m good enough. If it happens more, great. If not this much, then I plan for more next week. This distance takes me just over an hour. AN HOUR OUT OF MY DAY??!! Yes, an hour. My teensy attention span would never have managed it without help. If I listen to music or just ponder the meaning of life while walking, I turn around in 15 minutes. “I just don’t have time for this!” But now I can easily walk an hour or more and when I see the end of the trail in site, I think “So soon?” or even “Rats, this was just getting good.”
What drug, you may ask, am I taking before walking so that my attitude is so different. It’s called a book. Yep, my dear old pal reading can now walk with me, whispering in my ear the whole way. Many people know this but I just hadn’t connected the dots to get a book on my phone until recently. Our local library makes this gift to us very easy. I have even had to find and download a new book during my walk and still not had to turn around. Amazing stuff.
So now, some of those books that lie on the nightstand collecting dust are actually getting fed into my head instead of falling closed after a couple pages as I fall asleep. I’m gaining some new knowledge. I’m getting psyched to do new things or do more of some of the old things I love to do. Plus I’m getting some much needed exercise for body and mind.
So, now, I can honestly say, “Exercise people. It’s good for you. Just find a way to make exercise fun.” And listening to an audio book while wandering in the woods is one very good way to accomplish this goal.