At the beginning of this month I never thought I would love to exercise as much as I do now. I’m not talking about spending hours at the gym, I still don’t like gyms. But I love to exercise. In the morning while watching documentaries either on PBS or a DVD I do Pilates, Callanetics, or just some stretching. But this month has shown both my husband and I that walking together is really helping our health and our relationship.
I read a book this month The Wisdom of Tuscany by Ferenc Mate. This was the book that I chose to read aloud to my husband while we drove long distances and while we sat on the couch after our walks. One thing that we really learned was that we can incorporate the simplistic lifestyle of the Tuscany region into our own lives. And we did. The Tuscan’s walk every where that is 3.5 miles or less. I wonder if that’s why my ancestors were healthier than my family is today.
So my husband and I instituted this new rule for ourselves. If our destination is 3 miles or less we walk. This means that we need to take the time to coordinate our walking map and make sure we take the appropriate supplies like a backpack and other shopping bags. Last week when I walked to the store I just had the bagger make sure that the weight was level in the pack so I could walk home (the grocery store is 1.5 miles both ways). Yesterday we walked 4.5 miles going to the farm store (so I could look at the baby chicks), then to the electronics store (to look at new phones), and the grocery store I do my bulk shopping in. It’s interesting at how you rethink your needs when you have to carry home the purchases.
These walks have become our time to be together but it’s also our time to dream together. We walk down to the harbor which is 3 miles one way, stop for a cup of coffee, run into friends, and then walk back. These walks are also helping us get back in hiking shape. We are often asked, “What if rains?” We live on Puget Sound, it’s gonna rain. So we get wet. It’s only water.
Not only are we helping our health and relationship we are also helping our gas budget.
Here are some other ways to turn a love-hate relationship with exercise into exercise love.
- Go dancing: if you don’t know how, take some classes!
- No money for classes, follow the Walk Dance Guru
- Get outside and play: get a jump rope and sing rope jumping songs like when you were a kid, play catch with your kids.
- Go build some snow furniture. Remembering the fun you had in the snow when you were a kid, go out and build a snow man, snow furniture, or other snow animals. If you’re so inclined, shovel out half your yard and fill it with water and let it freeze. Instant ice skating rink! (My dad used to do this for us kids every winter!)
- Go for a bike ride for fun: I love bicycle riding but not the way most people do. I love it because I love to watch my streamers blow in the wind. Yes, I said streamers! I have purple Gary Fisher bike with purple, pink, and yellow streamers which I made my husband put on each handle. For me bike riding is all about fun. I can’t wait to get my white basket put on the bike this summer.
Exercise love is about putting the fun back into our exercise programs. Take it from me, as someone who has many hang-ups when it comes to exercising, if I see it as fun I’ll want to do it more. Exercise and health go hand-in-hand! You can’t have good health if you don’t exercise!