Yesterday my friend Stu and I drove to Deer Park in the Olympic Mountains and hiked the 7.5 miles to Obstruction Point and back – the total hike was 15 miles. We have certainly been on longer and more strenuous hikes, but this was a perfect day hike and since most of the trail is above the tree line the views are incredible!

It had been a full year since I was in the mountains hiking. It really felt good to be outdoors, to see the mountains, the flowers, birds and even a badger. It felt even better to be able to do a long hike like this and know that my body could do this.

Both Stu and exercise five days a week lifting weights and doing various cardio activities.  Stu loves mountain biking and I love my road bike. We are both grandfathers, lead very active lives with family and owning our own businesses. We are in the gym by 5:30 AM Monday through Friday. Our hike took us 8 hours with stopping for photos and sitting while we enjoyed the view as we ate our lunch.

One of the many things that we talked about is why do we exercise?  The answer is simple. So that we can do things like this and enjoy this amazingly beautiful world in which we live. We both see ourselves being very physically active in our 80’s and beyond. For us, the joy is not in exercising, the joy is in being able to go on long strenuous hikes in wilderness areas, to be able to go mountain biking or go for a 100 mile bike ride. The joy for us is to be able to play very actively with our grandchildren.

Neither of us exercise to exercise. Exercise is a tool for us. I likened exercise to using a screw driver.  I don’t know anyone who gets their jollies by using a screw driver. But I sure know many people who love the things they do and build using screw drivers.

Many clients come to me hating exercise and are totally unmotivated to exercise. All they focus on is the having to go for a walk, or having to go to the gym – as if that is the end result. No, exercise is the end result – it is the means to the end!

How physically active are you?  How much are your physical activities restricted now because you are overweight and/or out of shape?  Does living a physically active life in your 80’s excite you?  Would you like to go to Europe when you are in your 80’s and be able to walk and see all the sites?  Or, do you see yourself sitting at home, or in a care center in front of a TV? I intend to be very physically active thirty years from now. I want to be able to stack or cord of wood, move 10 yards of compost, walk on a Maui beach, go dancing and ride my bike.

Get out and go for a walk and build your cardio strength.  Start firming, shaping toning and strengthening your body so that it can carry you through the streets of Italy when you are 85. Use hypnosis to motivate you.

PS: It’s now Monday, August 13, and I am just back from the gym and found this Real Age article that says for every hour a week you spend active now reduces by 7% your risk of being hobbled in old age.