Sunday, December 05, 2010

Getting Exercise in the Winter

Pushing a sewing machine pedal is not exercise. Walking two steps from sewing machine to ironing board is not exercise. Sometimes sitting on the floor sandwiching backing, batting and quilt is a bit of a stretching exercise, but not much. How to get exercise in the gloomy, chilly, too often windy winter months? I'm walking in the woods -- but not often enough. I'd continue my walks by the seashore except for the wind which makes chilly positively cold. Some people think exercise should hurt. They are mostly young and foolish or badly deceived by nasty coaches or sports writers.

I believe exercise should be so positive that doing it is a pleasure. Science has actually shown that for the non-athlete, i.e., the normal person who just hopes to stay healthy and reasonably physically fit, walking is an excellent exercise. It is the one I choose. No, I cannot imagine myself EVER being one of those geriatric [yeah, I know how old I am, I'm not in denial] shufflers walking up and down the mall. Malls are, to me, ugly places pushing cheap, ugly clothes to people who are so young and attractive they can wear them without looking entirely ridiculous. They are also places with dreadful music droning in my ears and the scent of pizza and various other fast food trying to entice me to ignore any fitness I get from walking.

No, if the seashore is too cold for me, even when well bundled in down and wool, I'll walk in the woods. Which I did a couple or three times this week. Right now the path is covered with leaves, which hide nasty roots waiting to trip one. The leaves will become slippery when wet or in later stages of decay. But I have my dearly loved trekking pole to support me if I stumble or slide a bit. Best of all I have the peace and quiet of the trees and small lake. I was nearly alone the whole time on each walk lately. The happy bounding of a big white dog, followed some distance behind by his human is a friendly interruption to the mental meanderings which are usual when my feet are in motion. If snow come - and of course it will come -- I'll be forced to walk on sidewalks -- my last resort and not one I welcome -- especially as this town is skimpy with its sidewalks, often being only on one side of a residential street. Maybe it makes some kind of municipal budgetary sense but to a New Yorker it is disconcerting. I'll adjust, the walking needs to happen and I enjoy it. I don't "multi-task" although I would enjoy listening to music. The brain needs down time too, and not just when asleep.

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