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Why (and how) I exercise three hours a day.

Every day I’m blessed with on this gorgeous green planet, I aim for three hours of exercise. And most of the time, I hit my mark.

Before you get all exclamatory and incredulous on me, I’m not a fitness model, a kept woman or a professional athlete, nor have I found a way to add another three hours into the same 24 you’ve got.

When I say “exercise”, I’m not talking about burpees and boot camp and kettlebells. I’m speaking, very simply, about moving my body. Y’know, that thing that humans used to do a lot of before the internet.

To a lot of y’all, this probably sounds unrealistic and absurd. WHO HAS THE TIME, right? And three hours? But before you dismiss me out of hand, think about it this way: back in the day, humans worked. Like, physically worked. They hunted, gathered, built stuff, walked where they needed to go, rode horses, migrated, trained dragons (ok, maybe not that last one), etc. All day every day. Our bodies were built to move. Frequently.

Turns out, my bod (and yours too, I’m betting) doesn’t like a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting on my ass in front of the computer, TV or any other inanimate object makes me feel like crap; guaranteed mood killer and major contributor to a depressive state of mind. While I still fall prey to the above evils (on occasion and when necessary) I steer as clear of media consumption as possible. It’s a time suck and a joy suck (you’d be amazed at how much free time you have when you’re not agonizing over Game of Thrones or trolling Facebook for days).

True, I don’t have kids or a horrendously demanding job or ten zillion other responsibilities like some folks, but moving/exercise can be tons with children, dogs or friends in tow. It can be done during a lunch hour or when everyone else is smoking a cigarette. It can even be done during World Cup commercial breaks.  There are ways, y’all.

So what does my three hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) window consist of? Typically, a mash-up of walking and yoga, plus the occasional bike riding, kayaking, tree climbing, hiking, spinning, swimming, snorkeling or whatever else lights my fire.

I don’t do exercise I hate. Ever. Because why would I? Life’s too short and we’re here to be happy. 

As you can see, the stuff I’m into is hardly torturous physical activity, and generally, it’s staggered throughout the day/night. Essentially, I’m just moving. Less time at a desk, behind a wheel or on the couch — more time putting my limbs to good use.

I’m not saying you need to make like Hannah as far as an hourly commitment, but for me, the more exercise, the better I feel. Now, I look for every opportunity to move, especially out of doors. The fresh air makes its way into my tips and toes; the breeze tickles my skin and the sunshine sets my heart aflame.

Like anything else, regular exercise is a habit. Forming said habit takes a little bit of effort. Sometimes, you’ll have to choose between cozying into that seductive spot on the loveseat or lacing up your Asics and hitting the pavement. It won’t always be an easy decision, particularly when you’re drained after a day at the office, feeling super sluggish or desperate for a few more minutes of dreams starring Jared Leto.

But, like any habit worth having, it just takes catapulting yourself over that initial hurdle. Pretty soon, you’ll wonder how you ever spent so much time sitting still.

 

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