Don’t Exercise! My 2 Rules for a Healthier Body.

Have Fun!

Chinook having fun! Photo by Marlene Richards

Chinook having fun!
Photo by Marlene Richards

When people ask me about tips for being healthy I respond that my philosophy is this: Good health hinges on 2 words: Fuel and Fitness.

In my opinion, proper fuel should be our number one priority as caretakers of the one body we have.

Running a close second to Fuel is Fitness. Our body needs to move. Since 2 very important components of our body’s structure are muscle and bone, then the best way to care for both of those once we’ve given them the right fuel is to move that mass.

How we do that becomes an individual preference. It doesn’t really matter as long as we move.

But people tend to equate movement with exercise and for many, exercise is a turn off. A dirty word.

But it shouldn’t be. It should be Fun! Finding a form of exercise or an activity that is fun is a great way to move your mass. Whether it’s dancing, zumba classes, bike riding, swimming or even running. Whatever you consider fun is a great place to start. People tend to do fun activities longer and they tend to do them with more gusto. So explore and find the activity that makes you smile and makes you happy. If you do you’ll be on the road to fitness.

Sign Up and Train

What if you’re open to exercise but find it hard to motivate yourself to doing it regularly?

Then consider signing up for an event. It might be a fundraising walk or run, or a golf tournament. Or in my case, a dog sled race. Filling out that registration form takes your activity to another level.

A shift happens in your brain and you become more determined to prepare well.

A recent article done by Outside Magazine summarizes this process well:

“Training means structuring workouts toward an athletic goal, like a race or another organized event. Exercising, on the other hand, is movement for the in-the-moment feel-goodness of it. There’s nothing wrong with exercise. It’s just that, for many people, the reasons they exercise are often weak and lead to poor long-term adherence.”

For me, signing up for a dog sled race with my dog team puts my brain into 2 modes: 1. I oversee the training my dogs go through, and work with them to make sure they are training well enough to be properly prepared for the event. And 2. I look at my own fitness needs and make sure I am working on my strength, cardio and flexibility so that as the “weakest link” in my team I am able to contribute positively to my team’s success.

Whatever your approach, find a way to make exercise a part of your daily regimen.

Make it fun or sign up and train for an event. Better yet, do both!

Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

I wasn’t. =)

2011 Can Am International Sled Dog Race.   Photo by Kevin Powers

2011 Can Am International Sled Dog Race.
Photo by Kevin Powers

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