I know I am not alone when it comes to the lack of exercise. Once we have a job and children to raise, our time and energy are limited. We are constantly bombarded with messages about the need to get up and move. There are plenty of activities that look like fun, but let’s face it: if we’re not physically fit in the first place, we’re not going to be physically able to take part is most of them.
So that leaves some of us in a dilemma: do we spend our precious, limited time off working out in a gym (that we dislike), or walking a prescribed number of steps on a treadmill? Do we find a walking partner and get up at the bust of dawn to fulfill our obligation to move? Or do we pour ourselves another cup of coffee and turn on the Cooking Channel? How about a glass of wine and a few minutes of Facebook or Pinterest? I can see you nodding your heads.
I have tried committing to exercise programs that I dislike, knowing that they are good for me and knowing that I won’t keep them up. We already do so much in our lives out of necessity or obligation, even if they do not bring us joy. In the few spare hours that we have left, JOY is the thing we need. Creating joy (for me) involves discovering something new, feeling good about myself and what I’m accomplishing, feeling energized and stimulated, and having something worthwhile to show for the time I have spent. The challenge is to find activities for physical exercise that combine those prerequisites with movement.
I think I have finally found something that is better than a trainer, better than a class and better than a treadmill. A Camera! I recently purchased a DSLR with a hefty cross-body strap. I have had point-and-shoot cameras that work just fine, but they never motivated me to get out and hike. With the encouragement of Fuji Mama, Allergen-Free Baker and my son Daniel, as well as the help of Nancy at Nelson Photo Supplies in San Diego, I finally invested in a Canon T3i as an entry-level DSLR. I had no idea that the investment in the camera would also pay me dividends in the form of exercise and motivation!
I actually look forward to changing into tee shirt and walking pants (gym clothes?), lacing up my walking shoes, strapping on my trusty camera, and striking out for parts unknown. The long hikes around the ranch that used to seem like a penance when done just for exercise have become exciting treasure hunts now that I have my camera and way to share the new discoveries! Sometimes I post the photos on Facebook, and sometimes I plan stories to go with the photos to post here on MimiAvocado.com
After an invigorating hike up and down hills to get the perfect photo of wildflowers, snail trails, squirrel holes, songbirds, puffy clouds with trees and mountains… I deserve the time to write at my desk! I actually look forward to going out again, and scheme to carve out more time for “exercise” in my day. I’m eager to get out and see how the trees are changing from day to day, keep track of the seasonal wildflowers and notice evidence of wildlife too.
Now that I have the new camera, the prospect of spending a day hiking, walking a beach or exploring a park are much more attractive than they once were. I don’t want to sit in the house when there are so many exciting things to photograph! Who knew that the best piece of exercise equipment could be a camera? I’m glad I found out! And I don’t even mind getting up at dawn … sometimes!