Shopping Is Good Exercise

Blue_self park_2012-08-02

2016-05-15 – I must be getting on in years. My doctor talks about bone density loss. “It’s not just women,” he says. “Walking, weight-bearing exercise are the key,” he says.

If weight-bearing exercise is key, then shouldn’t I try to gain more weight? To make the exercise more effective? I’ll have to ask him the next time I see him.

In the meantime, I’ve dusted off my step counter. Last year, my company passed these out (to everyone, not just old employees) with a 10,000-step contest. I actually love going for a walk, and the contest was just a bonus. I easily exceeded the goal and won a prize.

This past winter, though, I got lazy. I don’t like the cold, so I stopped with the long walks. I told myself that my multiple short walks with the dog were good enough. But I sit on my but a lot. I do my day’s work sitting in front of a computer. Then I do some work on my musical . . . in front of a computer. Then I spend some time writing this blog . . . in front of a computer.

So, on my doctor’s advice, I got out the old step counter. And, what do you know? Again. I’m passing the 10,000-step mark every day, with little effort. Even when it rains. That’s about 4.5 miles. I’m probably doing 5 or 6.

But looking at the counter at the end of the day is a definite motivator.

Yesterday, I made an interesting discovery. We went shopping and, by the time we got home, I had done most of my steps for the day! I had done miles in Costco and Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Costco probably contributed the most miles. But Kit and I always ensure the extra exercise (even without the step counter) by parking far from the stores. You’ll never see us racing to get a close space.

This is not my ideal walk, though. We’re lucky to have a nice network of parks near our house. There’s the Skokie sculpture park to the West and North. And then there’s a chain of parks—Rogers, Indian Boundary, and Warren—to the East and South. Beyond Warren to the East is the lakefront. That’s where you can really rack up the steps.

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