Doing What’s Good For You

In July I was sailing with my friend Neale in Camden, ME. It’s one of the best sailing venues in the U. S., which is why Neale lives there. He said, “You know, Harry, cycling’s been good for you.” I agreed.

I started regular cycling 35 years ago but became more devoted when we relocated to Bucks County, PA 28 years ago. This is one of the best cycling locations in the country; relatively low traffic, country roads, lots of farms and rolling hills. Cyclists who live here love it. I ride 30-40 miles, three days a week here plus an equal amount in the half of the year we spend in southwest Florida.

Today I weigh less than 40 years ago, have a high energy level, complement cycling with strength and balance exercises. Golf and Pickleball also contribute to fitness and overall sense of personal satisfaction. It’s important to have activities that provide social interaction. Research has show that happiness and social interaction are inexorably connected.

Neale has also found activities that are good for him. An avid skier, he said that he’s now a better and stronger skier at age 75 than he was five years ago. He can now keep up with a fellow skier of similar age who was once a competitive skier on a national level. He supplements this with regular workouts at his local Y plus hikes in the Maine mountains in the summer. Sailing in Penobscot Bay adds to his sense of personal satisfaction.

Seems to me that we all should find something to do that’s good for us, ideally something that we enjoy. It may take a while to build up that sense of enjoyment – intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation – but it can develop. There’s a strong sense of personal satisfaction when we know that we’re doing activities that will help us lead a long, healthy life.

I don’t think it’s ever too late to find activities that are good for us. Several of the regular cyclists in the Florida group I ride with in the winter didn’t start until they were in their 60s or even 70s.

Neale and I have benefitted greatly from finding enjoyable avocations that keep us fit and healthy. What about you?

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