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On my treadmill should be a bumper sticker: I’d rather be sitting.

But on my couch: You should be walking.

I hate exercise.

No. That’s not true.

I hate having to exercise.

A hike with friends in the Sierra Mountains or puttering in our garden I love.

A morning bike ride, a friendly game of tennis, ice skating in the shadow of Half Dome, kayaking down the river, and walking along our country roads are all activities I try to squeeze into my schedule at least a few times a month quarter okay, year.

porch-325365_640tennis-404912_640But the absolute must of fitting 30-60 minutes of exercise into my day several times a week is grueling, especially when countless tasks vie for my attention, when there are so many other things I’d rather be doing.

But now that I’m older—39 in girls years, to be exact—my body screams for exercise. For heart-pumping, health-sustaining, digestion-inducing movement.

Before we moved here I ran a daycare in our home. On rare days when there were only two little ones to watch, my teenage son and I pushed them in their strollers to the park. But on days when the pre-school body-count increased or it was too hot outside, I walked the length of my house.

Our galley kitchen was on one end, connected to the foyer, connected to the hallway that ended in the bathroom. So I walked. Back and forth, from one end to the other. And the kids knew to stay out of my way for half an hour.

In this house I have a treadmill in our extra-wide back hallway. A friend of mine works at the hospital. She found out they were replacing the old bedside tables (you know—the ones on wheels that raise and lower) with new tables. And she asked the guys in maintenance if I could have an old one. They said, Yes. For free, even!

I put it next to my treadmill. My laptop sits on the table, and I write while I walk. Or I catch up on emails, do research and speed-read through my favorite blogs.

At my caregiving job, I climb the stairs between the upper and lower floors during downtime. One of the dogs usually joins me.

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But I hate sweat.

So I have to remind myself constantly of the benefits exercising (and sweating):

removing all those nasty toxins,

starving cancer cells, while feeding good cells with much-needed oxygen,

preventing disease,

removing fat from around our organs (and waistline),

boosting good cholesterol and eliminating the bad,

increasing energy levels,

helping us sleep better,

stimulating our thought processes

and enhancing our moods.

All naturally.

My son the Marine says physical activity is a great way to get high, without the side effects.

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I have noticed on the days I spend too much time on the couch with my laptop, after a while I feel droopy.

The solution is exercise.

Kneeling in the dirt and rearranging plants, surrounded by the music and colors and fragrance of the great outdoors, with a springtime or autumn breeze caressing my skin…

Stair-stepping on cement blocks in our backyard while watching geese fly south and treetops sway against a cerulean sky…

Or putting on my running shoes and walking on the treadmill for an hour or so…

Afterward, I’m amazed at the flow of ideas!

(Then I bring a pencil and notepad in the bathroom with me, ‘cause while I’m showering is when inspiration hits.)

That said, I think I’ll get off this couch and head outside.

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