Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alternatives to the Gym

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19,20

I recall a fun newspaper comic strip from my youth that depicted people fighting for the closest parking spots to the gym.

It's a simple fact that most of us could use more exercise. Here is a relatively typical sequence of events that occurs when people decide to exercise more:
  • Run out and buy a gym membership.
  • Buy some expensive exercise equipment - apparel, weights, etc.
  • Go exercise really hard once or twice.
  • Wait for a year.
  • Repeat.
I finally realized at one point that it was more effective to find other excuses to exercise. For me, the most effective thing that I do is commute to work and school by bicycle, or by jogging. When finding our current apartment, I was very careful to get one that was close to work, church, grocery stores and parks. When I started taking classes part-time, the university was just close enough to bike to - and it gets me a decent workout.

During the winter I jog more, since it's probably safer than cycling when it's dark - and I certainly am lucky to be in a place where it doesn't snow much. I keep extra clothing at work - many workplaces have shower facilities on site.
  • I can get as much exercise as I need just by getting to and from work.
  • Instead of arriving at work or school stressed by the traffic, I arrive refreshed by the morning ride.
  • The trip home helps me let off some steam after a day of work - rather than increasing my stress levels!
  • I find it easier to think and prepare for my day while jogging or cycling than while driving.
  • It's easier to find time to exercise when it's how I get places, and it's easier to motivate myself.
  • The car is available for Julianne to use during the day if she needs it.
There are lots more benefits to exercise of course. Here are a few: Move More, Stress Less

1 comment:

Molly said...

I could be exercising as we speak, but instead I'm sitting here reading your blog. I love it. I used to ride my bike to work and take the train, although I had to stop when I got a second job teaching in East Palo Alto at night--getting home from EPA at 8:30pm in the dark is not safe on a bike and not easy on public transportation. I have been worrying lately about fitting in exercise when I go back to work now that I have a baby. I just realized that I can ride my bike to Stanford on the days I don't teach. That way I can get my exercise in and only add about 15 minutes onto my commute time. Thanks for the reminder!!