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.