After my diagnosis I had this spasm of a thought that I should join a gym and become one of the Gerbils running on the wheels (treadmills). Don’t get me wrong, I did the local gym thing a number of years ago before I knew I was diabetic (T2). My son was about 5 or 6 and I would drop him off at a swimming lesson that would turn into childcare right after and I would have about an hour to “do the machines”. Treadmills, stairs, orbitals, rowers, weights, you know, The Machines! I felt better but soon got bored of the machines and somewhat of the people around the machines. I was out for some aerobics and they were out for other reasons. Showing me how many reps they can do, how much weight they can lift, how fast they can get the treads going; maybe it just seemed like that to me.
We never made it successfully through the summer and ended up paying monthly fees for a swim once a week when the weather was warm here in the Northwest – we always found something to do outside. After a couple years of monthly payments I soon gave it up.
Now I find other things to do for my exercise. One is a lunchtime 15 min walk in the neighborhood around my work. A few of my fellow teachers eat out lunch real quick and then head out. Mostly when the weather is good but we have done some rainy walks too.
Another is a 1-hour walk after work around the local lake area. The paths are paved and there are multiple routes to take, some going up hills, others just cruising on the flat land. I usually go by myself and listen to podcasts or audio books on my iPod. Over a year ago I decided that since I only have a 10 minute commute in the morning it was hard to listen to books, so I decided I had to build into my day some book-listening time, I also needed the exercise. I guess I needed a reason to walk. I will sometimes go 5 times a week if I have a good book going.
The Golden Retriever also demands a 20 min walk each night. He will go in any weather. I usually prefer dusk when there is little traffic.
I also discovered Geocaching a few months ago. So at the end of my work day, I go to the map and plan a 2-3 mile walking loop that will take me by a couple geocaches. It is pretty interesting although sometimes they hide them too well and it takes time to find them cutting out some of my walking time. Check out www.geocaching.com for information.
I also try to bike to work once a week. At my school we have a light Friday so that is usually my day. I am about 5 miles from work but it usually takes me 20-30 min depending on traffic. I do not like the sweaty feeling I have when I arrive but for one day it is ok.
Yard work, yep, that is some exercise. I have about a 1-hour mow once a week that is pretty strenuous. Usually on weekends I do a few hours of other cardio work.
I guess when it comes down to it, I do exercise, but not in the traditional way – or are my ways traditional?