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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall: the Perfect Time to be Outside!*

How do you get your daily dose of vitamin D? From drinking a glass of milk everyday? From eating fish? From being out there with the early morning sun for at least 30 minutes? From all of the above?

My dear folks and friends, I get my dose of vitamin D outside, in my backyard, walking at my own pace, and then drinking a glass of milk afterwards. Trying to live longer, I make it a point to get up in the morning, once the sun is up on the (blue) horizon,  and do my walking on and around our spacious wooden deck. If I'm motivated enough, I'll even get out of my house and stroll around the neighborhood.

Besides inhaling fresh air in the open, I get to appreciate the natural world. I find peace doing my morning prayer while walking. (As a practicing Catholic, I try to pray the rosary daily.)

I tell you, it feels good to be out there while listening to the National Public Radio (NPR) news broadcast on my old and small cellphone-size AM-FM radio, after my morning prayer. There's a feeling of relief that comes from knowing I can't do as much strenuous exercises as I used to when I was still active in the U.S. Navy.

Doing moderate exercise or physical conditioning to stay (minimally) fit doesn't have to be that costly. Simply walking/moving around---even around your house, inside or out---for at least 30 minutes a day is just as good as having gone to a physical fitness center where you have to pay.

I don't have anything against fitness centers. In fact, they're very good, or appropriate, for those who can afford to go there. With their specialized fitness equipment and trained, and/or certified physical fitness trainers, they can help many people get fit. But for those who have physical or economic limitations, doing simple work out or physical conditioning at home or strolling around the neighborhood can be good enough.

With the mild, beautiful, or gorgeous Fall weather that we have right now, it's inviting and invigorating to be out there doing simple, moderate exercise or physical conditioning.

Haven't you guys noticed or have that feeling that it's irresistible to be out there smelling the morning's fresh air, getting some vitamin D and listening to the birds while walking or strolling around the neighborhood?

Meeting and making new friends in the neighborhood while they, too, are doing their exercise or just plain enjoying the beautiful outdoors, is such a healthy feeling, truly a wonderful experience!

To be out there bicycling, walking, jogging or running, maintaining your pace, stretching out slowly, but determined to continue to manage your pain, is such as rewarding experience!

One thing more, though. You don't know what's out there until you're out under the sun, surrounded by plants, flowers, trees, even pet animals, and the bright, clear azure skies. And you never know whom you'll encounter or meet along the way!

Being out there under the early morning sun is such a blessing. It's also quite refreshing and therapeutic, especially for those who live with chronic pain, like me. For me, staying active, while I can, helps me remain optimistic that everything will be all right. It helps me enjoy the present moment.

So, my dear folks and friends out there, seize the moment and enjoy it without reservation. Enjoy the Fall foliage, too while it's there. Soon it will be gone (like the wind that brought us memories and experiences of a meaningful life).-chris a. quilpa, 11October2012

The above article of mine appeared in Suffolk News-Herald on 15 October 2008.

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