This chapter is designed to provide a perspective on where you stand regarding a commitment to regular exercise. Whatever your current level of fitness, the specifics of what is right for you will have much to do with your personality and preferences. Choose to become more active in ways that you find comfortable and pleasurable. Consider various options, even if it takes you several weeks or longer to develop a consistent pattern of enjoyable fitness pursuits. To further help you create a stimulating repertoire of endeavors, the next two chapters present much more detailed information concerning the impact of particular types of exercise.
Many kinds of activities can provide stimulating exercise. Among these are aerobic dancing, basketball, cycling, racquetball, rowing, running, swimming, tennis, chopping wood, ice skating, jumping rope, landscaping, weight-lifting, and using circuit-training equipment. Any of these endeavors can become more (or less) strenuous depending on duration, pace, tempo, and level of competitiveness. Examples of pursuits that are usually more moderate with respect to energy expenditure are housecleaning, yard work, car washing, golfing, bowling, volleyball, doubles tennis, and brisk walking. However, the challenge of these so-called “moderately intense” activities can also vary tremendously as a function of speed, time involvement, and weather conditions.