I keep it simple. I walk. That's not very glamorous, I know - I'd never be written up in the Wall Street Journal's "What's your workout?" - but it works for me.
Getting to simple, however, was rather complicated. I grew up during a time that was not so exercise oriented, so I had no models or direction for any activities to keep me fit. President Kennedy told us fitness was important, but the only exercise I saw at home was the sit-ups Dad would do when he wanted to lose a few pounds. Gym class was a joke from the get-go: I was more focused on the social traumas of communal showers and being picked last for the dodgeball team than on learning any skills that could lead to lifelong activity.
Then along came James Fixx and the cult of running, leotards and aerobics classes, ads for Bowflex and big rubber bands, marathon madness and the proliferation of gyms.
I accepted the premise that exercise is good in many ways, but finding something that I could stick with - that is, something I didn't loathe - was the hard part.
Running was out of the question. Unless the letter A is a part of your bra size, it hurts.
Aerobics and dance classes left me feeling frustrated, because it took me longer than most to learn the routines. Also, the instructors were usually Nazis.
I like biking, and when I lived in the flat town of Palmyra I could run errands on my coaster bike with the baskets and old-lady seat. Then biking got ruined with Spandex, silly helmets, pedal clips, etc.
Treadmills, step machines and stationary bikes are just boring. The addition of TV monitors makes them even more boring.
Only walking has stayed with me. It requires no special clothing or gear, no memberships or appointments, and I don't hurt my eyes from rolling them at the gung-ho skinny girls watching themselves in a mirror.
It fits easily into my life. I can walk to the store or bank or studio, slipping exercise into my to-do list, or I can let my mind work out a writing problem while my body moves.
Most importantly, I like walking. It makes me feel good while being good for me, turning exercise into, say, Greek yogurt instead of castor oil.
Yesterday, I thought about this blog while walking in Richmond. Today, I'm writing on a plane between walks through airports. Tomorrow, either before or after I post the blog, I'll walk the beach on North Caicos. Yeah. Much better than "I have to do my workout."