I will be the first to admit that I do not like exercising. At least not in the traditional, purposeful sense. I love to walk the streets of a big city… end to end, mile after mile. I relish walking in big shopping malls, lifting and carrying heavy bags full of wonderful merchandise. I adore carrying my grandchildren, ranging up to 90 lbs. (although I prefer to do it when they are awake!). Playing with and chasing them is even more fun. I really enjoy biking to the beach to catch a sunset, and the cooler air at dusk makes the ride home even more enjoyable. These are my kind of exercises.
But running? Strength training? Pilates? Aerobics? YUCK! I have never understood the fascination with or the ability to enjoy these activities. That being said, I know they are necessary. At least that’s what everyone says. Which is why I have tried to incorporate some of them into my daily life. But purposeful exercise has become an exercise in futility for me. It seems that every time I begin a new regimen something happens to bring it to a halt. I’m talking a physical halt. A broken foot or nose, extreme vertigo, bashed toe… the list goes on. A few days into a new routine and BAM! some injury or illness stops me in my tracks. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.
I know that a healthy lifestyle is vital for a long and productive life. And I most certainly want to live a long time and be productive and happy while doing so. I eat my veggies. Unless I’m going through something stressful or depressing, I limit my snacking. Overall, I eat a very healthy diet. My weight hasn’t fluctuated much in the last ten + years, and though it’s more than I’d like it to be, I’m not freaking out about it. I’ve become pretty comfortable in my own skin. And as I’ve grown older, and have learned to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the ability to grow older, I care less about what I look like on the outside and more about what I feel on the inside.
But a little voice in the back of my head… as well as every other article on the internet, talk show on tv and post on Facebook… is telling me to get in shape. But, I ask, what shape? What’s wrong with the shape I already have? I’m strong, I’m relatively flexible and I’m in good health. My clothes fit me. So why do I keep torturing myself with this idea that I need to exercise? Why can’t I just tune everyone out and listen to the universe instead… “Relax”, she tells me. “Exercise your soul. Enjoy life. Don’t worry. Be happy.” Doesn’t that sound like better advice than what Dr. Oz is offering up? I sure think so.