Thoughts On Exercise

triangle poseIn his book, The 100, Jorge Cruise states that it’s not necessary to exercise in order to lose weight! I heartily agree. Some people probably find burning calories inspirational. I am not one of them. Swimming for half a mile probably wouldn’t burn off the Vietnamese coffee I have at breakfast. Neither would an hour of yoga or a two mile walk. No, I have to focus on a myriad of other reasons to find the inspiration to exercise:


– strength
– balance
– overall health
– tone
– flexibility
– interest
– time to think
– satisfaction

When swimming, I alternate between the front crawl and the breast stroke. I imagine my arms getting toned, and my quads gaining strength (which helps, I believe, my weak knees). With nothing to do except count laps, I find myself thinking of ideas for my blog, writing projects and things to do.

In yoga, I know I’m building strength, flexibility and balance. I enjoy the company of my yoga instructor and the class. I’ve made a friend, too. Carol’s short and a little stocky and she amazes me every time I see her, because she’s my mother’s age and here she is doing chaturanga dandasana, up dog, down dog, triangle pose, all the warriors…

Going for a walk or a bike ride, usually with a friend or family member, gives me an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery here in Colorado. It provides me with interesting relationship building conversation. If I’m alone, it gives me the opportunity to think. I’m not a huge music person and far prefer my own thoughts to listening to an iPod. Music is enjoyable, but it crowds out any chance to be creative or solve problems.

Even when I don’t feel particularly motivated and have to talk myself into going to a class or to the pool, I’m always (and I mean always) glad that I did. I’m proud of myself and get a lot of satisfaction from having participated. I am, at my core, a bit sedentary. I could read and write all day. But I don’t want to be someone who just reads and writes all day.

Which brings me to the final reason for exercising. I believe the fact that I do yoga and swim and go for bike rides and hikes make me a more interesting, a more well rounded person. I’m no athlete. I don’t go heli-skiing or white water kayaking or run half marathons (let alone a half mile). I don’t even like to work out hard enough to sweat. But I DO exercise and I am in decent shape and I hope to be like Carol when I’m 76 (though taller and, yes, a little less stout, although I’d take that over skinny bird legs, no strength, and osteoporosis). 😉

The last thing I think about is how many calories I might be burning.

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