Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stop The Excuses

There is no valid reason why each one of us can’t exercise. So many of us create excuses, put up roadblocks and simply avoid exercise. We don’t think we have to do it, or we just come up with the perfect excuse to avoid it. The excuses I hear most often from my friends are they are too tired, have a medical illness, hate to do it, don’t like to sweat, can’t afford a gym right now, don’t see any changes when they do work out, they’re not motivated, they don’t know how to properly exercise, they complain it’s too painful, and the biggest excuse of them all, “I don’t have the time.” Not one of these excuses is valid.

We need to be more positive and focus on the reasons why we should exercise. Exercise reduces the risk of obesity. It’s the key to good health and longevity, and it can prevent heart disease and stroke. It boosts the immune system (which means fewer infections). It combats osteoporosis (weight-bearing exercises like walking and resistance training builds bone density, while couch-sitting causes bone breakdown). Exercise helps prevent back pain, releases and relieves stress (who doesn’t need that?), and it improves our self-esteem, helps control blood pressure (lowering your sodium intake and weight control will help even more) and improves mood (thank God for the natural release of endorphins). Many people report sleeping better when they exercise. It also improves digestion and helps to prevent the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes (some people are even able to decrease or stop medicines altogether with regular exercise). Exercise improves circulation, and my favorite reason to exercise: It’s fun and relaxing. Yes, fun and relaxing!!

I’ve belonged to many gyms over the years. I’ve enjoyed the experience because, in addition to working out, I’ve been able to meet new friends and network. However, I don’t use a gym any longer. This is due in part to the current economical meltdown and the inflated price of a gym membership. However, if you can afford to go to a gym, that’s great!

I recently learned something I never knew before and took for granted… Exercise is free! I knew I would get your attention. Everyone likes free. I’ve never believed you could get something for nothing, but you can. I know what you’re thinking… How? (LOL)

I’ve been walking, running and hiking through my neighborhood’s trails and parks. Three of my favorites are the Jones Falls Trail, Stoney Run and Lake Montebello. What makes this perfect is, in addition to my intense aerobic workout, I get to enjoy nature. I’ve learned to identify different types of trees, fungus and birds. It’s rare that I used to see an oriole, blue jay or woodpecker, but I do see and hear an abundance of these birds on the Jones Falls Trail and at Lake Montebello. It really is amazing! I’ve seen deer, beautiful turtles, snakes and some interesting bugs too.

The Jones Falls Trail goes through Druid Hill Park near the Druid Lake Reservoir. Near the Reservoir there is exercise equipment that is similar to the machines at a gym. They don’t have weights attached, however, they use the bodies own resistance to help you build muscle.

I am hoping to walk and cycle the NCR (Northern Central Railroad) Trail, which begins in Ashland, Maryland (near Hunt Valley) and ends in New Freedom, Pennsylvania. It’s a great trail! I used to cycle the trail religiously every Saturday. It was a long trip, but the rewards were great. It’s the perfect way to be at one with nature. My favorite trail of all time is the Appalachian Trail. (David, thank you for some great hikes there.) I hope to do the entire trail one day.

I’ve gotten a bit off track with my talk about the trails. (Check out for great places to walk and hike state-by-state, nationwide). However, what you should remember is my trips on the trail involve one great exercise (walking) with one of our most valuable body parts (legs).

One walk or a few walks daily/weekly can prove beneficial to your health. The more you walk, the better your health will be. For all of you who say you don’t have time, if you have time to go to happy hour, you have time to exercise. Also, for those of you with your cell phone glued to your ear, you definitely have time to exercise.

One final thought, for those of you who don’t exercise and eat healthy, you’re creating major problems for America’s healthcare system. I’m doing my part, so now it’s time you do yours. America, let’s get healthy together. - paerki

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One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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