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Where We Walk

Why should we exercise?

You have heard many reasons.

Here are some of mine:

  • It gives me endurance to perform simple exertions without being out of breath.
  • It helps me to maintain my weight.
  • I like the shape of my legs better when my calves are strong.
  • It gets me out of the house.
  • I enjoy nature and looking at things as I walk.
  • I'm getting to know my neighbors.
  • My dog is better exercised.
  • A bit of sunshine is good for my mood.
  • It assuages my guilt because i know that I "should" exercise.
  • Enough other people have their own exercise regimens that it gives me a common bond to share with them.

Walk to Live Light

Notice that not one of these is about long-term health or long life. Nowhere here is there anything about blood pressure or resting heart-rate. I know that exercise is supposed to be good for those things, but those are not reasons that *I* exercise.

Your reasons will be YOUR reasons. No one can tell you anything reasonable about why YOU should exercise. Other people's reasons might work for them, perhaps, but your reasons are YOURS.

This is a very personal thing you are undertaking, but yet you will find that many people will have their own opinions about how and why you "should" exercise. If you do it for your husband's reasons, your doctor's reasons, your best friend's reasons, or MY reasons, this will not work for you. You need to come up with your own reasons!


I am not a medical practitioner or an exercise therapist. I am writing from only the expertise of one who has tried and failed MANY types of exercise programs and who has finally discovered what it takes to make one succeed for me. I believe that if you read and follow my advice, you can create an exercise enthusiast within you.

As with any new health regime, you should consult your health care practitioner before you begin this program. I'd be willing to bet a dollar, though, that s/he will tell you "go for it."


Will this program make you lose weight? No. No exercise program, in and of itself, can make you lose weight. Losing weight entails taking in fewer calories than you burn.

However, it is easier to lose weight when you are on a program of exercise, for at least two reasons. First, when you are exercising, your body uses more calories, both when you are exercising AND when you are at rest, because of the change you make in your metabolism, so it becomes easier for you to maintain or lose weight when you are exercising regularly.

How many calories will you burn when you walk? This depends upon how long and how fast you walk. It also depends upon how heavy you are now. If you weigh more, you will burn more calories, because you are carrying more weight around with you!

But for those of you who are planning to walk to lose weight, you will be surprised, I think, with how little you lose just from walking.

Another reason that exercise makes it easier for you to maintain is that after a good 30-minute walk, it just feels FUNNY to eat a jelly donut afterwards. It is like eating toffee at the dentist's office. It just doesn't fit. Exercise will tone your body, giving your body new contours which you will like.

For example, if you are 125 lbs, and you walk 2 miles in 30 minutes, you will burn just 132 calories. . If you are 150 lbs, make that 156 calories. By getting one small scoop of Haagen Daz instead of two, you will save 175 calories!*

Exercising will make you stronger and give you more stamina for living your life. Shopping till you drop? You won't drop as soon if you have strengthened your body. Taking the steps will seem a viable option. You will improve your balance, your coordination, and your confidence in your own body to do what you want it to do.

*Numbers are from Reebok Instructor News, vol. 4, No.2, 1991. More numbers

If you suffer from depression, PMS, mood swings, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, or fibromyalgia, endorphins and serotonin that your body makes during exercise will help with these. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking, running, or roller-blading is a big help toward preventing osteoporosis, the loss of bone that often accompanies menopause in women.

Developing a routine that includes exercise will help you to discipline other aspects of your life as well. The mental fortitude that you will strengthen as you get into this will enable you to move mountains that heretofore have seemed quite solid.

If you have read this far, you probably have been nodding your head at some things that you see here. You are likely coming up with some reasons that you would like to start to exercise or keep exercising. Make yourself a little list if you want to. They don't have to be "good" reasons. They don't have to be sensible or sane. If you want to run so that you feel like you earn the nickname "Superman" that your co-workers call you, then so be it!

Now you know why you should exercise. Next let's look at why it is impossible for you to exercise every day.

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©1999-2002 by Janee Aronoff, may not be reprinted without permission, except for your own personal use or for your friends. Printing for any commercial purposes whatsoever requires the permission of the copyright holder.

This author does not purport to be a nutritionist or expert in this field. The author has consulted with a physician who verifies this material to be medically and scientifically sound. Consider talking to your physician before beginning any sort of weight loss or exercise program. Web space for this site is paid for by the site owner and author. The author maintains this site and is not monetarily compensated in any way for this.