EXERCISE

Our bodies are made to move. Unlike plants, which evolved to get their energy directly from the sun, most animals evolved to move around and collect their energy (food) from plants and other animals. Humans are animals. We have to move or our bodies and our brains cease to function properly. Moving - which we now call "exercise" - is as fundamental to our life and health as are breathing, eating and sleeping. I spend time every day getting exercise and I love it.

Evolution is pretty efficient - if we don't "use it - we "lose it." If we never walk or run, don't carry heavy loads and don't stretch our muscles, tendons and ligaments, our bodies grow weaker and stiffer. Fortunately, the more we "use it" the easier it gets.

Having asthma can make it hard to stay fit - but the Asthma Society of Canada encourages all asthmatics to manage their asthma and get regular exercise. Staying as fit as possible is a basic part of my lifelong learning plan. When my asthma is well-managed I make a point of pushing harder to tide me over the times when just going for a short walk is all I can manage.

WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE

We do resistance bands or free weights regularly at home. There is no better feeling than having had a good workout.

WALKING

Walking is great exercise. Having a dog who needs to walk everyday is a great motivation.

HIKING

We love to hike and/or take good long walks. We have done walking tours in Italy , England and Portugal. There's no better way to see a new country. Walking in Nanaimo's many parks is great regardless of the weather.

GARDENING

Gardening can be really good exercise. Over the years we have moved tons of rock and soil. We know that weight training is important for targetted fitness - but gardening gets things done.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

We had both done some cross country skiing when our kids were young. Once we retired, we decided to take it up again. We took lessons when we were in Craftsbury, Vermont. After we came home, we went skiing regularly at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island. Snow shoeing is great exercise too. Problem in 2014/15 - no snow on Mount Washington.

ICE SKATING

I loved ice skating when I was a child in Manitoba and I skated a lot when our kids were young. Once I went to work fulltime, I stopped ice skating. One of the first things I wanted to do after I retired was take up skating again. To my surprise, I found I had completely forgotten how to skate. Mike had never ice-skated but was soon zooming past.

SWIMMING

We love swimming off the boat when the water is warm enough. We also took lessons at Nanaimo's two beautiful public swimming pools.

CYCLING

Mike loves to cycle and he can cycle anywhere. I have a new hybrid bike which is great on Nanaimo's paved trails. We now have a bike cart for our dog Lexy - so she can run for awhile and then ride in comfort.

SCUBA

Mike used to scuba dive when he was in high school. After he retired he took enough courses to gain his Master Diver Certificate from PADI. He has a dry suit and a lot of high tech gear and really enjoys the beautiful underwater world. Nanaimo is a world class area for scuba diving.

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