Of course, all this talk of healthy eating is purely academic if one does not get enough exercise, and as a nation we don't. I find that running is too strenuous on the knees and respiratory system. Walking is great exercise for mind, body and soul, swimming too. I heard the end of a great little program on Radio 4 in May 2002 called "Three miles per hour", which was extolling the virtues of a good stroll amidst nature. They said that we spend too much of our lives moving about too fast, driving, flying, etc., and it is important to spend time existing on a human, animal level, unwinding in natural surroundings, at our own pace, not that of our machines. I enjoy exploring our wonderful countryside, roaming about with a camera, discovering new paths. And don't forget that sunshine is a vital source of Vitamin D, which is otherwise lacking in veg*an diets.
Cycling is also good, not just for your body, but for the environment; if possible, try cycling to work or to a friend's house once a week or so (save money too!). The National Cycle Network is growing steadily, linking many towns and cities with peaceful car-free routes along old railway lines and canal tow-paths. Swimming is another good activity which exercises the muscles other activities don't reach. Other aerobic exercises include dancing, trampolining, hopping, skipping and jumping; they all increase oxygen to the lungs, and thus the whole body benefits. Yoga is also very beneficial, and can be practised anywhere once one knows a few basic postures.
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© copyright Malcolm Smith 2002-04-10 - last updated 2004-11-06 - links verified 2004-11-06