DO YOU EXERCISE PRIMARILY TO LOSE WEIGHT?
I do exercise to maintain my weight, but it is also a release for me—a way to deal with the daily frustrations of life. I exercise for health reasons and to be strong and fit. My daily sport or trek into nature is the highlight of my day; it gives me the energy I need to live life.
—Angie, via e-mail
I’m fortunate enough to have a job that allows me to exercise during my lunch break. This helps relieve stress and gives me a boost of energy for the afternoon. I think it also has something to do with the fact that I still wear the same size pants as I did in high school, some 20 years ago.
—Jeff, Radford, Va.
I do exercise to lose weight, but also to be able to do my daily farm activities without too much trouble, to feel better and more powerful, and to help slow down the aging process. I am 57 years old and try to stay as physically active as possible.
—Kathy, Johnson City, Tenn.
Weight loss begins in the kitchen. It’s amazing to hear people talk about weight loss and exercise and think they can maintain their same eating habits. These are pipe dreams as evidenced by the girth of the average American. Stay out of the kitchen.
—Bradley Mead, Charlottesville, Va.
At 53, I’ve never had a weight problem—maybe because I have always enjoyed endurance sports, I try to eat a diet void of processed foods and take everything in moderation. I do my best to stay fit so I can enjoy cycling and hiking for years to come.
—Mark Hutchens, via e-mail
I exercise to stay in touch with my body and the rest of the living world versus being in my head all the time. Exercising outdoors does for me what going to church or therapy does for other people. It’s my whole foundation for a clean and decent life.
—Rena, Mechanicsville, Va.
DO YOU WEAR AN IPOD WHEN YOU RUN OUTDOORS?
I find running so incredibly boring that my iPod is the only thing that gets me through.
—Sean, Richmond, Va.
I wear my iPod when I run in town so I can be distracted from the noise. But when I run in the mountains I do not need it. I enjoy the beauty and sound of the mountains and outdoors, so no need for the music.
—Jeff H., Clayton, N.C.
I am a 56-year-old man that started running three years ago to lose weight and get in shape. I went from 255 pounds and unable to run 100 yards to a comfortable 205 running six to eight miles, three or four times a week. Using my iPod kept me interested and made the trips fun. Often I would be tired, looking at a hill, so I would reach down and kick in a motivating song. Pulling on my iPod is as natural as putting on my running shoes.
—Jim Tittsworth, Clarksburg, Md.
I love music and I love running—might as well have both.
—Mike Jones, Staunton, Va.
I run to clear my head from distractions, to have time to think without someone else’s thoughts interfering.
—Reed Leonard, Lilburn, Ga.
I run to get away from all the distractions of technology. I listen to the woods, the hawk in the trees, and animals scurrying through the underbrush—as well as the slosh of water in my water bottle and the rhythm of my breathing. Besides, I usually have a couple tunes stuck in my head anyway.
—Will, Charlottesville, Va.
Think about your personal safety. Being able to hear, as well as see, is essential to your situational awareness. You are more likely to become a crime victim or suffer an injury if you can’t hear. Save the iPod for a safer situation.
—Striker, Boyce, Va.