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What Is The Best Form Of Exercise?

Why Am I Asking This Question?

Because one of the keys to sustainable living is health and longevity.  If you are healthy, your life is sustainable.  And I love you all, and want you all to live long, healthy, and productive lives!

Are You Having Difficulty Exercising?

I have fought and fought myself about exercise over the years.  I’ve been through phases of aerobics, yoga, running, weight lifting, stair mastering, tread milling, rowing, biking, swimming, and lots more.  But all phases.  Nothing stuck permanently!

But if you need reasons to exercise, please read the Mayo Clinic’s top 10 reasons – they’re short and to the point.  Essentially the reasons are: to feel good, live long, be thin and healthy, and stay smart.  Pretty good reasons, don’t you think?  So let’s all just find a way to do it, shall we?

What’s the Best Form Of Exercise?

The one you’ll do.

My husband works out in the gym of our building.  I walk to work and garden.  Whatever works is what we stick with, because our health is the most important thing.  I found out over the years that I don’t like gyms.  I also can’t always afford yoga, taking exercise classes, or swimming.  But I can afford to walk, and I can afford to garden.  And so I allow myself to be ok with that.

You’re most looking for aerobic exercise that lasts 30-60 minutes at a time, and something you’ll enjoy doing every day or nearly every day:  brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, dancing, some types of yoga and pilates, tread mills (and equivalent gym equipment), etc.  There are 1,440 minutes in every day.  All you need is 30 of those to exercise.

Walk With Me!

If you enjoy walking, walk with me!  There are 24 of us walking together now – come join us!!

10,000 Steps Challenge

Bored walking alone?  Start a walking group!  Ask a friend to join you, walk with your partner in the evening, find a coworker who lives near you to walk with.

Be Smart & Safe

Wear Supportive Shoes

No matter what exercise you choose (except swimming), make sure you wear shoes that give you adequate support.  You don’t have to find them new – if you don’t have any good shoes, you usually find decent shoes at a local thrift store, just make sure the soles and arch support are still good.

Warm Up

Just like your car on a cold morning, your body doesn’t like to start up and go immediately.  Stretch and start out slowly, allowing your body to ease into your exercise.  Then do the same at the end: slow down and ease out of the exercise.

Be Safe

If you feel unsafe, exercise with a friend.  If you have heart troubles, make sure you consult your doctor.  Please be safe.

What Kind of Exercise Do You Like Doing?

Are you exercising now?  If not, will you start?  I want you to live long, be healthy, and stay smart.  So how about it?  (No excuses now!)

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13 comments to What Is The Best Form Of Exercise?

  • Rose

    I actually used to be a bodybuilder, but thanks to fibro and arthritis and a few other things they’re still trying to suss out, that went out the window. I’m still very strong, but I’ve put on the weight and nothing will take it off. I do walk, but I have to be careful as my balance isn’t as good as it used to be and I now use a cane. I have to admit I don’t feel like walking is a “real” workout as I’m used to do so much more (it’s like being handed skimpy little .5 kilo weights for “toning” – if it’s not at least 12 kilos, don’t bother me!), but I suppose it’s better than nothing. In theory exercise is supposed to help my condition but I don’t know anyone with fibro who is able to keep up a regimen for long without popping a bunch of pain meds.

  • I completely agree! (and I think I’ll join your 10,000 steps challenge.) I’ve never struggled with my weight, and for a long time I used to say that I didn’t need to exercise. Wrong! I’ve joined a few gyms, but I hate going to them (can’t get past the stupidity of the idea that I should get in my car and drive some place to work out; doesn’t that seem counterintuitive?) I’ve been lucky enough to live within walking distance to work for the last 3 1/2 years, and I have never felt better! I admit that I do still sometimes hop in the car if I am running late, or it’s pouring rain, but I schedule in the extra 1/2 hour of time needed to get me there by foot, and have made it part of my routine. In the warmer weather, I ride my bicycle, which I also love. Until recently, I always thought of exercise as a chore. It isn’t a chore: it’s part of life, it’s how we humans evolved; we are made to move!

  • Jen

    The best way for me to get exercise is to multi-task it. In other words – I can’t stand exercise for exercise alone! I walk my dog – she needs to walk and then I get exercise too. And soon I will start riding my bike to work again for the warmer months – I love doing this as I have to go to work anyway and this way I save the price of the bus fare (this saves me $5 a day!) and get exercise AND I can come and go on my schedule and not the transit company’s ! I also enjoy working in the yard and garden and anything with my kids as exercise.

  • I am a Zumba addict. It keeps me interested and makes me want to do it more. It is fun, upbeat, and I do not even notice the hour go by!!

  • I have to walk my dog for 45 minutes to an hour every. single. day. I would never want to deprive him of what is clearly the best part of his day (aside from the walk he gets in the morning from his Papa!) and so we go out together wind, rain or shine. And thanks to him, I know every street around our house for miles. It really makes me feel more connected to my community!

  • Alexia

    I walk my dogs every day for 1 hour, I bike to work, it is only 15 minutes away, but at least I do not have to use the car. I also run on the treadmill for 30 minutes 5 days a week. On the weekends, we go for a hike with the dogs and soon I will be gardening.:)

  • I walk everywhere I can + I do yoga. I really notice a huge difference in my body + outlook during the periods I stop going to classes. 3 years ago my boyfriend got into Ju-Jitsu + this year he’ll turn 40 + has never looked better in the 17 years that I have known him. I think Hercshal Walker is his new athletic role model since he’s been talking about him lately.

  • Di

    Well my life took a turn over the last year and I’ve actually started working again which means pursuing my career in fitness again :) So I guess as a fitness instructor and personal trainer you could say this is my life now. I teach 5 hours a week right now, and run on alternating days 3 days a week. I recently decided to train for races and am running my first 5K on 1st May. We can do anything we set our minds to regardless of disabilities or illness. Check out Shad Ireland at ironshad.com The guy has renal failure, in on dialysis 2-3 times a week and is competing in IRONMANS! Thats 2+ miles swimming, cycling, then a marathon! Look at Lance Armstrong beating cancer. So many people overcoming adversity.
    I was unsure as to whether I could get back into fitness after a 10 year break but am thoroughly enjoying it again, and I made a pact with a girlfriend (fellow fitness instructor) to run a 1/2 marathon in October.
    Choose something you enjoy and do it often.

    Oh and I second getting a dog. I walk mine 3 times a day and every neighbor in the local streets know us, well they know the dogs ;) I have dalmatians and it’s a real ice breaker when people ask about them. Adopt a dog from your local shelter!!!

  • Walking is great because you can always do it AND it can cut back on the gas you use. I also do yoga at home.

  • ALM

    I think finding workout “buddies” has been the best motivator for me. Maybe that would help some of you out there – TRY IT! One of my buddies is a walker – we walk around the building where I work during our breaks. Another buddy jogs with me twice a week on a nearby nature trail during my lunch break (I am totally lucky to work somewhere that has a shower/changing area and is close to a trail). Another buddy meets me at a gym twice a week during lunch where we lift weights (I am also totally lucky that this gym is super close to my work and costs only $10/month!). So, between these three people, I exercise during my lunch hour and breaks 4 days a week. The other three days I garden at home, which is also a way for my body to rest between the more strenuous workouts I do with my buddies. They make it fun!

  • [...] you can unload it and mix it into your soil in 2-3 hours.  And you feel really strong and well-exercised the next [...]

  • zdawg

    All I can say is SWIM and just watch woderful things happen to your body quickly!

  • Jay

    The best exercise is the ones you can stick with over a long period. As has already been pointed out here, walking can be done by almost everyone without any special equipment, just a decent pair of shoes. Try parking at the back of the lot instead of competing for the open parking space right by the door, or walking around the block just once after dinner. It all counts as exercise.

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