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Exercise for Physical, Mental and Social Health

Exercise for Physical, Mental and Social Health

This week’s theme has been more about the mental side of getting physical than wearing oneself down to exhaustion. It seems like life is providing more than enough of that right now! There are a multitude of reasons people exercise, and breaking a sweat doesn’t always top the list.

Some people want to change or maintain their weight.

Some people want to get stronger.

Some people want to be more flexible.

Some may be doing it to maintain chronic health conditions instead of letting them take over.

Other people exercise because it’s how they burn off stress.

Group classes can be popular at gyms because they give us the capacity to develop new and different friendships or connections.

I’ve heard many endurance exercisers (runners, cyclists, walkers) comment that their activity is a form of meditation. Let’s be fair… I’ve even heard lifters say the same!

Sunday, I was joined at the Conservatory of Flowers by four clients (and a four-legged friend) for a 7-mile hike to Park Chalet and back.

A couple of participants had gone on a hike with me before, so they could see this one was a little different. Rather than setting a continually brisk but manageable pace, there were a number of times that I derailed us by stopping and appreciating the sights.

I stopped and took pictures of anything that called out to me. Even better, I often invited others to join in the appreciation. There were times when everyone went ahead while I clicked away, then caught up. There was no “getting into the zone” for this hike. My first objective was to get everyone outside. My second was to help foster a sense of fun and community.

There was fresh air, conversation, movement, and smiles all around. I’m willing to bet that even Dart (the dog) was happy for a change of scenery. I couldn’t really ask for a whole lot more out of the day.

Sometimes what we really need is to get out, shake up routine, and remind ourselves that ultimately, we move to enjoy a quality of life.

Want to join us on an outing? Our next one will be late April!

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