“Peaceful” and “relaxing”?

From today’s Between Friends comic by Sandra Bell-Lundy comes this exchange….

Maeve: How’s your walking regimen?
Susan: Actually, I’m enjoying it.
Susan: Every evening I walk around the neighborhood … it’s such a peaceful, relaxing way to end the day.
Maeve, shocked: “Peaceful” and “relaxing”?
Maeve, accusing: I thought you were trying to improve your health!!


Yes, starting a new exercise program can be hard.

Yes, some people are training for a competition or rebuilding after an injury or illness or surgery. That can be hard.

But it is possible to dance or play basketball or do yoga or walk around the neighborhood and finish relaxed and happy. And it’s still exercise. Even if you your BMI doesn’t automagically register as “normal”.

Maybe if we didn’t all expect that “exercise” is a universal experience with universal results this wouldn’t be so confusing.

6 thoughts on ““Peaceful” and “relaxing”?

  1. Amen. Not everyone is an athlete, not everyone can be, or wants to be, or needs to be. And, for overall health, ‘peaceful & relaxing’ is even more important than superfit. If we are moving, we are exercising, & the emotional & psychological benefits of movement, including gentle, ‘peaceful’ movement, are even more important than the physical benefits. After all, stress & anxiety are known killers. Moving comfortably, enjoying it, has longer, deeper, more far-reaching benefits than just pushing yourself as hard as you can to ‘whip yourself into shape.’ I have done it both ways & walking isn’t ALWAYS peaceful & relaxing if, like me, you use walking for transportation every day as well as exercise, but it can be, & I feel my best when it is.

  2. Thank you for posting this. It turned out to be fortuitously timed for me; I’ve moved to a new city and went back to bicycle commuting last week. Though I have ten or fifteen years of bicycling experience, I haven’t done it for the last five years. I’m finding the experience exhilarating (I feel amazing after I ride) and frustrating (because it takes time to learn a new place and I’m always lost). However, I’ve been alarmed at how tired I am after cycling; ten miles up and down hills leaves me unable to do serious mental work for the rest of the day. Thank you so much for the link to the article that points out that it takes a month or two to adapt. Thinking of this tiredness as temporary helps a lot.

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