Do you work out?
I’ve been asked that question numerous times, and I’m sure many of you have been asked the same thing at least once. The truth is, I do not like the question. We are so far removed from physical activity that fitness has come to be associated with work. The terms work out and exercise bring images of monotonous drudgery. I think that it is this view that raises the other common and related question – What is the best exercise? Or, for online diabetes forums – What is the best exercise for diabetics?
I have never understood those questions. Diabetic or not, surely, the best exercise is the one we do regularly simply because we enjoy it. And for us diabetics, an active lifestyle is a crucial aspect of our diabetes control. So, whatever will get us moving should be good. I mean, what good is research on the benefits of walking if you hate walking? If you love to run, no study claiming that walking is better than running will convince you to hang up your running shoes. If you love to dance, you don’t need other people to tell you that dancing is excellent for balance, dexterity and fitness, not to mention it’s fun. Why do we need someone else to tell us what we like to do?
Exercise does not have to be a chore. At its essence, exercise is nothing more a series of movements. But we have complicated things, when all we really need to do is to just move. I think we, as human beings and as members of the animal kingdom, are meant to move. We are not plants, after all.
Another thing, why do we have to limit exercise to a handful of physical activities we are not interested in just because they are the flavor of the month? There’s so much we can do – walk, run, swim, skip, hop, belly dance, play the hula hoop, throw Frisbees, lift weights, cycle, ski, snowboard, surf, paddle a canoe, row a boat, trek, play ping pong, play or badminton, climb rocks, box, fence, ice skate, be imaginative in bed, play tag with our kids, and the list goes on. The bottom line is, do whatever you want to do, as long as you do it and enjoy it.
So, do I work out? No. I move, I sweat, I feel good.
What about you? Do you work out?