by Juline Bruck
About that title, I mean that I don't go to the gym. Ever. That doesn't mean I don't exercise.
Having the reflexes of a falling brick means I don't drive. This simple cost/benefit analysis came in a grim "Would you rather....". Would you rather not drive? Or most certainly, have an accident within a year and risk chronic pain? Um, no. No chronic pain from a debilitating accident for me, thanks.
And that meant bicycling, and walking, and hauling my groceries in a wheeled cart a half mile from my house. It meant planning my day around the weather. Out here in the Los Angeles area in the summer, we have a stretch of time with above 100 degrees mid day. For a 51-year old mother of two teens, exercise includes modeling choices I hope they would make themselves. Like putting the grocery cart back instead of leaving it out on the back fort for the lot attendant to fetch. Things like that.
The real exercise is taking control of my physiology. Choosing to take a deeper breath when anxiety pounds on my heart, for instance, is a type of exercise. I might mention that taking a walk when my irritation runs high is such a good thing to do. That walk might be three miles round trip. If it means that I don't say or do something I'd regret, the sweat or the time required is totally worth it.
Creating space in my life for movement means my lymph system works as it should. Joints don't stiffen up as much. There's more flexibility. My back gets a break from sitting at the computer. Even my eyesight benefits from seeing new perspectives and refocusing its muscles at new distances.
Relationships do better with movement too. A walk with the dogs usually means connections with other people. There seems to be more sharing on a walk--just an observation over time. Even when people come together to help someone move from one place to another, the process of working together connects.
If you are looking for more life in your life, there are thousands of moments where movement and physical activity add. It's my solemn hope that you will invite others to 'exercise along the way' with you!
Juline Bruck is an author of Christian literature and a certified life coach. She juggles home life, her profession, and outreach in Los Angeles, Ca where she has resided for over 20 years with her family.