A to Z Challenge: Day Five – “E”

‘E’ is for ‘Exercise’ and ‘Enjoyment’

In her recent  A to Z post, Sue at Sizzling Toward Sixty,  encourages us to explore movement-based activities that we enjoy, then schedule these activities regularly into our week.  I wholeheartedly agree with Sue, as do most studies on this subject. According to researchers, enjoyment of exercise creates a positive mindset and increases both sustainability and consistency of our workouts. These three factors are of crucial importance to a successful, long-term fitness program. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)

If you follow my posts, you already know that my favourite form of exercise is walking. Despite my town’s mediocre walkability score of 39,  I find our community to be highly walkable. I walk daily for pleasure, fitness and transportation. (You can check out my previous posts on walking and hiking here, here and here.)

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was part of two different walking clubs. The one group (MidIsland Walkers) walks on Wednesdays and alternating Saturdays/Sundays. The other group walks on Thursdays and allows dog owners to walk their dogs off-leash.  Both groups offer energy, enjoyment, exchange and entertainment (the latter is especially true on days like today– dog-walk days)!

Today we walked the dogs off-leash at Little Qualicum Falls. Not exactly ‘e words’….but as you can see from the following photos, enthusiasm and excitement were everywhere!

Today’s walk with the ‘Muttley Crew’. That’s Jude (aka blogger, ‘Dr. Sock’) in the bright blue jacket in both photos.

Two of my favourite local places to walk, hike or just hang out happen to start with ‘E.’  It is my pleasure to introduce them to you.

Enos Lake offers over 7 km of walking trails in a mixed habitat of arbutus woods, wetlands, lakes and rocky bluffs. Enos Lake is also the only place where the endangered fish species ‘Enos Lake Stickleback’ is found. Dogs are welcome on these trails but must be on-leash.

Es-he Sme–nts Community Park officially opened on October 4, 2017 in Nanoose Bay. Its name is from the Snaw-Naw-As First Nations tribe and means ‘Seal Rock.’ The area is absolutely breathtaking and includes sensitive coastal bluff ecosystems and unique strands of Garry Oak trees. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it!

What is your favourite form of fitness? Tell us a bit about why you enjoy it!

DSMc Photography
Top Image (L to R): Es-he Sme-nt Community Park, Enos Lake. Bottom Image: Thursday Dog Walk.

51 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Five – “E””

  1. Fabulous photos. Every person and dog clearly enjoying themselves! Walking is my chosen form of exercise. Nothing nicer (WHEN I actually put my walking shoes on – great resistance to doing so) than stepping out, in nature, fresh air and letting my ego take back seat.

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  2. I agree exercise does give the body and mind a high!! I love to swim laps, with my music blasting in my ears to keep me going. (If you are a lap swimmer 🏊‍♀️ swimmp3 is awesome)….walking is always good…but I like to run not fast or far 5km….nothing like the high coming off a run😍 then biking the city trails and paths is another favourite ….keep moving🏌️‍♀️🚴‍♀️🏊‍♀️

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    1. Hi, Georgia – Your chosen physical activities are very impressive. I didn’t know even know that there were MP3 players for swimming. I really need to burst into the current Century….I know. Thank you for sharing this.

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  3. Walking for sure, Donna, with or without dogs although now that I’ve got two, it’s usually with dogs. And where I live, some of the walks are more appropriately called hikes. And on really, really low energy days, which happen rarely, the hikes feel like mountain climbing. I think I can, I think I can….

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    1. Hi, Karen – I love when walking turns into hiking…and vice versa. I seldom mind declines, but I can get quite whiny about inclines. (Yes, that was me you heard complaining all the way from the Camino this past summer!) We have a neighbour, who is in her mid-eighties, and remains in the advanced (fast-paced group) for a local walking club. She is my inspiration for life-long walking!

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  4. Enos Lakes looks like a beautiful place to walk with friends, Donna. I use exercise as a way to control stress. After work, I’ll run on my treadmill or hop on the elliptical. If I walk fast on the treadmill, I’m able to get in an hour of reading. The elliptical has a console that my Kindle rests nicely on. If the book is really good, I can get in a lot of overtime. 🙂 No matter how tired I am at the start, I always feel great when I’m finished.

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    1. Hi, Jill – I love how you mix reading and fitness. I need to start doing this…especially as the ‘A to Z Challenge’ has put me a bit behind in my reading for my book clubs! I agree that the end of a workout usually feels amazing!

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  5. Walking, definitely. Both for pleasure, usually with John at the weekends, and just to get around. I try not to drive unless I have to – though sometimes the weather conspires against me!

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    1. Hi, Terri – I greatly appreciate you stopping by, and sharing this post on your social media. As I mentioned to Anabel below, I was surprised to discover that our town’s walkability score is rated so low. I can easily walk to groceries, doctors, dentists, gym, yoga, library, community centre, recreation centre, art galleries, bars, restaurants, beaches, churches, friends, bookclub, urgent care….what else would I need?

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  6. Looks like group fun! You already know that hiking is my favorite exercise (even thought I don’t really think of it as exercise). But I also love my water aerobics classes. I’ve met some wonderful people there and the workout keeps me in shape for hiking. If you love your exercise, it doesn’t feel like exercise!

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    1. Hi, Karen – You are truly a poster child for this area of research. When you love what you do, and get into the ‘flow’, it is no longer work or exercise…it gets elevated to a much higher level. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing!

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  7. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for mentioning me and the website. You and I are soul sisters I believe and both enjoy keeping fit and active. Currently, we live in a City and divide our time here and down at the Coast where we hope to move to full time. I’m fortunate to have a beautiful City to run through and then the beach when I’m at the Gold Coast. I have my Saturday Sisters who I run with so similar to you with your walking groups. Vancouver Island looks so beautiful and each time I read one of your posts my goal of meeting you IRL gets stronger. Another good chapter in our AtoZ Challenge and see you tomorrow for ‘F’. xx

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    1. Hi, Sue – I was just commenting on your most recent post at the exact same time that you were commenting on mine. I totally agree that you and I are ‘soul sisters’ (as long as you don’t try to get me to run). I am happy to hear that I am successfully tempting you to visit Vancouver Island!

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  8. Hi Donna – Great E post! You already know about me and my car-free lifestyle. I’d love to visit your two local places to walk. The scenery must be fantastic. Oh, and meet up with you and Jude, too.

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  9. Hi Jude! 🙂

    My favorite exercise and activity is walking as well. And not only because it doesn’t feel like exercise! I just like being out and about, especially in nature. But, the weather has to be agreeable. I love seeing all those happy puppy faces off leash! I so hope Mark an I manage to join you (and Jude) on one of your favorite walks this summer, Donna! Hurray for the letter “E”.

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      1. I was wondering about that. My ears must have been burning! 🙂 Fingers crossed, indeed. Says the one who is supposed to live life on her own terms and go where she pleases.

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  10. Walking is my favorite form of exercise too. I tried out a meet-up walking group several years ago but found them to be more strollers than walkers. I’d like to find a group that was more focused on exercising and less on socializing (at least while we are walking… maybe coffee and chatting afterward). I’m very surprised that your community rates only a 39 since you say that you can easily “walk to groceries, doctors, dentists, gym, yoga, library, community center, recreation center, art galleries, bars, restaurants, beaches, churches, friends, book club, urgent care, etc.” That doesn’t make any sense at all. Although our neighborhood is safe and nice to walk in, it’s not so great for walking to anything. Yours sounds lovely!

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    1. Hi, Janis – I am stumped by our walkability score as well. I will need to do a bit more reading to understand how these scores are assigned. My only guess is that my opinion of what constitutes a ‘reasonable walking distance’ may vary from the opinion of others. Still, if you lived in our downtown core, it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes (20 max) to get to groceries, doctors, dentists, gym, yoga, library, community center, recreation center, art galleries, bars, restaurants and beaches! I don’t live in the downtown core and it still takes me less than 20 minutes to get to most of these places!

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    1. Hi, Antoinette – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. We could not find a walking group in our area that allowed dogs off-leash (many groups did not allow dogs at all). So, we created our own. It is said “if you build it, they will come.” That has certainly proven true for “The Muttley Crew”. We have more and more members each week….and the dogs are soul-enhancing to watch!

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  11. I’m a walker too Donna – there aren’t any walking groups nearby so I tend to walk in the mornings by myself – which is a great time for quiet and thinking and some praying. In the evenings I walk with my husband and it’s a chance to chat and debrief from our day. I’ll never be a gym junkie so walking works for me. Loved your photos!

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  12. Hello Donna
    I love walking and hiking, but I’ve recently got my mountain bike dusted off and am enjoying riding one or two days a week.
    Can’t wait to see what’s going on tomorrow.
    Laura

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    1. Hi, Laura –
      That is very inspiring about dusting off your bicycle. I need to do the same…and may just do so this week.
      Even I don’t always know what I’m going to write about the next day. Thanks for staying tuned! 🙂

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    1. Hi, Joanne- You are right about the (year-round) outdoor opportunities on Vancouver Island. Add to that a vast away of small town events…it is hard to get bored here. I believe that our major ‘industry’ is ‘retirement’…so there are always like-minded people to play with both mid-day and mid-week!

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  13. Another great post Donna, you’re on a roll with all your E words! I love your entry for E as exercising is something I enjoy too. I love walking, running and cycling the most and try to something every day. I’m envious of your walking groups as I tend to walk alone most days, lost in my own thoughts in the forest with just the kangaroos for company 🙂 Your areas you walk look great although it looks a tad cool still there!

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    1. Hi, Deb – If hiking alone in the trails surrounding my home, my company would be bears and cougar. That’s one of the many reasons that I like walking/hiking with a large (and somewhat noisy) group! Although Vancouver Island is touted to have one of the mildest Canadian climates, it is sadly still a bit cool here. Bring on Spring weather soon!

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  14. I love the Enos Lake trails, and usually walk there 2-3 times a week. The Es-he Sme-nts Community Park is one I didn’t know about. I’ll have to check it out. Along with walking and hiking, my favourite types of exercise are skiing in the winter and cycling in the summer.

    Thanks for the mention!

    Jude

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  15. Hi Donna,
    E for Exercise! I enjoyed your walking stories and love the picture of the pooches in the water!
    Exercise for me has been an experiment this year. I tried Tai Chi and was a disaster. Aquafit suited me just fine and today I am set to venture into my third class for it. I also do a 20/20/20 class which is cardio, strength and flexibility focussed and on Monday I am venturing into Pilates. Maybe we will try walking when the weather isn’t so cold. Our plan last fall, was to drive to a nearby small town that we weren’t so familiar with and do an hour walk to explore it. I would like to resume that soon I hope!

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    1. Hi, Fran – Your 20/20/20 Class sounds very interesting…and challenging! I agree with experimenting with different forms of exercise to see what works best for us. For me, my disaster was Pilates. I went with a friend who was also new to it. She loved it….and I was a total reject. Truly! Even the kind-hearted teacher (politely) suggested that it may not be the exercise for me. Good grief!

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  16. Your dogs are sure having a great time frolicking in the water. I managed to get our dogs down to the beach yesterday and they had a run and swim off lead. The pups are still not behaving on the lead, so yesterday I put one on the Halti collar but the other one howled and resisted. He could pull a freight train he has so much boundless energy.
    My favourite exercise is also walking, and I love walking with my camera, which doesn’t do wonders for my heart rate as I keep stopping. Maybe, it would be more honest to say that photography is my favourite exercise.
    It was interesting timing to read your post. I caught up with my physio on Wednesday. It wasn’t good news. She wants me to set my physio sessions like appointments and the plan is to go for a walk after the kids go to school. The trouble is I stay up too late writing and have had a bad cough/chest infection for some months and am having trouble landing on my feet. I’d do much better with a midnight work, if it weren’t for the security concerns. However, I managed a 30 minute walk to the beach with the dogs yesterday. Now, I just need to keep it up. Yikes. Routine and consistency in anything other than writing, is quite difficult for me.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    1. Hi, Rowena – I am sorry to hear about the news from your Physio. The good news is that you have the skill to create routine and consistency (as proven by your writing). So with the suggestions of your Physio you can apply this skill to a new area! Even just walking in between photographing is a good start! :)Thank your for sharing this. I greatly appreciate it.

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  17. Walking is my exercise of choice. It ticks off a lot of boxes – exercise, fresh air, meditation. My mom would say the hardest part of going for a walk is putting your shoes on and stepping outside the door. Remember the old Nike ad? – Walking isn’t just good for the heart; it’s good for the soul. That sums it up for me. Kudos to my home town for enhancing a walking trail outside of town. Folks used to walk on the roadway. The town/county developed it by paving an off-road walkway and installing lighting.

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    1. Hi, Mona – Thank you so much for stopping by. I completely agree with your Mom on this. The hardest thing about walking is usually putting your shoes on and going out the door. The same can be applied to many other forms of exercise. This past month I had fallen out of my yoga routine. The more classes I missed, the easier it was to give myself an excuse for not going the next time. This morning, with yoga mat in hand, I went back to the studio. The only hard part was deciding to go and going out the door….the rest was much easier!

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