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Friday, March 14, 2008


On The Road To Nowhere

Exercise is important. Doing some form of it helps relieve stress and depression. It helps raise the rate of your metabolism, thereby burning off more of those dreaded calories we all somehow inhale. It also, per WebMD and any doctor you come in contact with, helps prevent or lessen the effects of many diseases and syndromes.

As a person who has both a “nerve-ending syndrome” and rheumatoid arthritis, I HAVE to exercise. It’s definitely a “use it or lose it” type of thing.

If I had the luxury of doing my favorite form of movement-I’d take my crotchety 50-year old body, put on my very old (but still fitting-hah!) leotards and tights and hustle on back to jazz class. But since I don’t-I put on my leggings or sweats, lace up my walkers and either walk outside with Sunshine (my lovely lab mix) or hop onto either my treadmill or exercycle.

This brings me to the title of this article. I own a treadmill. My sister has generously loaned me her exercise bike as well.

Personally-I’d rather be outdoors with my faithful and beloved walking companion of over 10 years, music playing in my ears, stupid poop bag in my fanny pack and my emergency cell phone hooked on me. You’ll notice at no time did I didn’t say I looked good, just that I preferred it.

But when the weather gets in the way-which it does, even here in “sunny” Southern California-or my joints are not cooperating with the idea of going up and down the various slopes on my route, I have to rely on the dreaded machines.

Theoretically, I know either one of them give me a better, more consistent workout, but it just really isn’t as much fun. Both tell me exactly how fast I’m going, how many miles I’ve gone, my heart rate and calories I’ve supposedly burned. If you want to believe the digital readouts, somewhere along the lines, I owe myself a cookie.

When I’m on the treadmill, I turn on the television and watch the food network. If I’m on the exercycle, I grab a book or a magazine.

Yet, even though I’m doing two things at once-I haven’t been able to say I feel that “high” that I receive from walking outside with my pooch. I don’t feel as if I’ve accomplished near as much.

Being on the road to nowhere may make the grade physically, but for me, it loses the part where I get to come home feeling “better”. Yes, I know I’ve been active for 30 or more minutes and that I’ve been sweating. I “see” what good has been done for my body. It just doesn’t feel as “weight-lifting” as getting out in the open, on the streets with my headset of dance music wafting in my ears.

I love the sun, the air and looking at what’s around me. In a way, I’m not only doing something physical and emotional, but environmental as well. I feel good about picking up the trash in my wake and beautifying the area I frequent. It truly gives me a feeling of power and satisfaction.

Being on the road to nowhere may help the size of my jeans stay in the lower single digits, but it just doesn’t do as much for my soul.

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