Although active and athletic, I never played organized sports as a kid. We lived far from school and transportation was a problem. Getting exercise however was never a problem. We had a huge garden to tend, a few acres to mow and a driveway to shovel. After school we had to pick a job to do for one hour such as weeding the strawberry patch, picking dandelions greens for the chickens or shoveling the dirt from the pond we dredged. We also had a basketball hoop, a pool, a bicycle and the outdoors to explore. There was never a shortage of chores to do or siblings to run around with. I can still hear my Mom’s voice telling us to go outside and play.
I remember for my birthday one year my sister sent me a jogging suit. The pants were forest green with a white stripe down the leg. The jacket was the same color with a zipper. I excitedly put in on and promptly laced up my sneakers and went for a run. About a ½ mile later I was gasping for breath and wondered why anyone would run for fun. It it no more fun for me now then it was at age 12 in my cute green jogging suit.
As an adult I still love to explore the outdoors. From May-October I can kayak on the lake, hike in the incredibly beautiful NY State Parks, play in my garden, ride my bike and of course mow my lawn. I find it a bit tougher in the winter to get enough exercise. I walk my dog at least 2x a day but even that can seem like a chore when the wind chill is -26 degrees. As soon as she does her business we turn around and practically run back to the safety of the warm house. As I type this it is 19 degrees outside and the windchill is 3 degrees. My dog is standing at my side and “talking to me”, telling me it is time to eat and get out for a walk. If it weren’t for her I probably would not have left the house at all today.
I recently pulled out my Wii console and some of my exercise games and have rediscovered a past joy. I have been doing some yoga, boxing and strength training. I love how the voice on the machine continually encourages me by telling me “your doing great”. You may laugh but in the past I used these exercise video games to lose 40 pounds and have managed to keep off 30 of those pounds. At that time exercising on the Wii was a great habit I had developed. Basically every morning before work I would do a 30 minute routine. The 2 games I enjoyed the most were “The Biggest Loser” and “Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout”. I would often make my breakfast while jogging all over the house with the controller in hand!
As an adult, I remain physically active and moderately athletic, but it is February and it is COLD outside. So I express gratitude for my dog who I love deeply and who prods, pushes and cajoles me until I get off my butt and go for a walk with her. And gratitude for my Wii console and exercise games that entertain me, get me to exercise and remind me to wish my friends a happy birthday!
Exercising a little bit every day can have such positive impact on health. Not only in the physical sense but the mental sense as well. Some exercise every day helps me sleep better at night, promotes weight loss, improves my attitude and is obviously good for my physical health. And an added bonus during the cold winter months, exercise warms me up without having to crank up the heat. Jumping on my Wii is 1 way I choose health thru physical activity even during the long winter months.
I applaud you if you manage to maintain your physical activity throughout the year despite the snow, sleet and frigid temperatures. I am happy for you if you live in a location that has moderate weather all year. But I gently prod, push and cajole the rest of us to pull out the old exercise video games and start boxing, skiing, shooting hoops and dancing to burn those calories until we can put on our cute little green jogging suits and take a run. Or better yet get back outdoors onto our bikes and into our kayaks! I am going to go close my eyes now and imagine myself in my happy place! In My Little blue Kayak in the middle of the lake!