Monday, April 14, 2008


So, I have a question for the Internet.

What constitutes "exercise"? Really, what is considered health-promoting exercise and what's just messing around?

I'm wonder if I'm actually getting any.

I love runners. I totally admire the kind of crazy that takes a person out in freezing cold or blistering hot weather to run and run and be in pain. Even the indoor track runners are a marvel to me. They look so uncomfortable, like they are in total misery, but still they continue to run around and around the same, dull indoor laps. I can tell they are getting exercise. They are sweating, their faces are twisted into tight grimaces, and they are red all over.

I will never be a runner. It isn't that I haven't tried, because I have, but I just can't get over the misery. It doesn't feel good. I feel so miserable after attempting to run that I need to have ice cream to help myself recover.

I like to walk and hike. I don't mind spending a half hour on our elliptical glider. But I want to know if these things count as exercise like running counts. Or vigorous swimming. Or cross country skiing. I don't need to be a sculpted Apollo; I'd just like to be healthy and live to be eighty. Or ninety. I can go for an evening walk with P and the kids and I don't feel sore. I feel like I've gotten out, enjoyed the fresh air and moved around a bit. After a half hour on the elliptical, I feel tired, but energized and refreshed. I'm even a bit sweaty. But I don't get on and work terribly hard. I'm not out of breath and I'm taking a relatively easy pace. I try to enjoy myself. I feel better the next day for having done it.

What about you? What do you do for exercise? Does it sound like I'm getting any exercise at all or do I need to work harder?

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