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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

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June 30th, 2007 · 5 Comments

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When you do something that you love, it’s easy. Even if it’s also exercise.

I make my exercise easy and enjoyable for myself by taking along my camera whenever I go out. I love to take photographs of the beauty of nature everywhere that I go.

Since I always look for beauty, I concentrate on what I find along the journey instead of on the destination or the more miles still to go. This makes it much less about the hike than about what I can find along the way.

My exercise of choice is hiking. It’s what I do most.

But I also walk and jog around the area where I live. On the trail I often jog briefly as interval training.

Sometimes I go out overnight with my backpack. This makes it possible for me to go to places where I would not be able to get to with just a daypack.

In winter I go out with my snowshoes. In any case, I always take my camera and am always looking for beautiful photo opportunities.

Sometimes I ride my hybrid bicycle around town and on nearby trails. While I am often going too fast to see the beauty around me, I make sure to take my camera on these bike rides too.

Resistance training and balance exercises are just as important for our good health, and I do that too even if I have to stay indoors for these exercises. When the weather out is too severe, instead of walking or hiking I work out on a treadmill. Although the photo opportunities are limited in these situations, I make sure to take my camera along, just in case I spot something along the way.

I am no athlete. Never have been. My classmates in elementary school recognized that by always choosing me last for their teams.

But I’ve always loved to hike. I love the freedom and independence that it gives me. I love the chance it gives me to get away from my duties. And when my head clears on the trail I am often surprised at the insights that come to me.

Still, starting to exercise indoors — the resistance training, balance exercise, and the treadmill — was tough, even though I knew all too well how important it is for controlling my diabetes. It isn’t easy for anyone.

It’s a particularly personal example of the universal problem called inertia, which Sir Isaac Newton told us about 321 years ago in the greatest single scientific work ever. Inertia means that a body at rest tends to remain at rest.

But that’s only part of it — the down side. Inertia’s up side is that a body in motion tends to remain in motion.

Once we get going it’s easier to keep going than to stop. I know that Sir Isaac was right. Now, for me it’s harder on my psyche — to say nothing of my body — not to exercise every day than to exercise.

Exercise — along with diet and weight loss — are the two tools that I use to control my diabetes. With my posts here I hope to inspire everyone else who has diabetes to use this tool. And if you are lucky enough not to have diabetes, getting more exercise is one of the few good ways that you have to avoid it.

The trick is to make your exercise fun. For me it’s photographing nature. For some people it’s listening to music they love on their iPod. For others it’s going out with their friends or their dog. Still others make it a sort of game by counting their steps with a pedometer. One correspondent tell me that he increases his fitness by geocaching, which combines a computer, a GPS, walking, fresh air and by being more active and getting outside more. By whatever means you can make your exercise fun, you can make sure to become and stay fit.

Best regards,



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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Exercise for Maintaining Weight Loss // Feb 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    [...] the introductory post for my new “Fitness and Photography for Fun” blog I suggested three tricks to make your [...]

  • 2 Tom Whitney // May 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Hi David
    I talked with you earlier. I am a member of a long-term diabetes support group at the Bay clinic in Hilo, Hawaii. We attended a series of ten classes and have continued to meet every week. We check our diabetes indicators, and have a talk or two by Stacy the dietitian, Leonard the psychologist or Charlotte, the APRN. We wanted to branch out so we got them to start holding once a month meeting in a local park that are open to the public.
    It turns out that our long-term support groups are somewhat innovative in the realm of diabetes care. But none of the four long-term support groups the Clinic now has are peer-led.
    I am writing a paper on this good program we have here and in one chapter of it I am paying attention to peer-led support groups and to Internet peer support web sites.
    Having read a bit or you personal history I can see that you have been covering this area for years, so I am asking for your thoughts about what you think about the importance of the Internet to people with diabetes. Do you have any sense about how many people use internet sites? What are the best ones? Which do you like?
    Is it ok with you if I quote from your blog about how you are using photography to exercise? I think it is a very good story. I would also like to work in the headline picture from your website with your name on it, if that is ok.

    Tom Whitney

  • 3 JENNIFER CANFIELD // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Hey David how about a Advice for Newbies on photography. I take some good pics with a point and shoot camera, but I want to learn a lot more. I am a CDE by the way. THANKS!

  • 4 David Mendosa // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Dear Jennifer,

    Thanks for asking! Actually, I teach a class in nature photography at my church each year. Since you probably don’t live here in Boulder, Colorado, that might not be too practical for you. But three years ago I put my seminar notes online. The equipment has improved some but the ideas are the same. See

    Best regards,


  • 5 David Mendosa // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Dear Tom,

    You are welcomed to use that story and photo if you include a link to my site.

    The Internet is the main way now that people with diabetes learn about it. About eight years ago I gave a talk, the transcript of which I have online that might be helpful about my thoughts concerning the Internet. It’s at

    Every year or so one of the big research organizations studies health site on the Internet. Best for you to check them: Pew Trust, Gallup, etc.

    Since I write for HealthCentral, I have to say that it’s the best site! Actually, I don’t look at the others — they are all full of secondary sources. I use only primary sources, like PubMed and research sites tailored to journalists.

    Also, please see my article about local support groups at

    Best regards,


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