Getting and Keeping in Shape

2009 Hunting Diary, Days -365 to 0.

(I have to admit that I often neglect this Hunting Diary section of my blog [for many reasons, most having to do with time]. This year I will try to make amends. If you are not a hunter or interested in hunting, you of course can move on, but I hope those of you who are curious as to just what motivates a hunter will stick around and maybe even engage in some conversation.)

One of the pleasures I gain from a hunting trip is the opportunity to get away from the day-to-day grind, get out in the woods, take a long walk and learn a little bit more about the wild environment that supports us all. I enjoy these activities best when I am in reasonable physical fitness. A long time ago, I realized that if I wanted to truly enjoy outdoor activities I needed to work on my physical fitness year around. Now, I am a big guy with a relatively low metabolism so weight control is a constant issue, and it doesn’t take long for me to put on a few pounds if I don’t watch what I eat and I don’t regularly exercise. So, I try to do a rigorous physical workout at least three times a week, and go for a walk or bicycle ride another three times a week. This is not always possible to accomplish with business/family obligations and meetings, but it is the goal I set for myself.

I have written on this subject before—e.g., Hunting the Healthy Heart—and stress that these physical workouts, whether intensive or moderate, should be pleasurable and something you prioritize in your weekly schedule. This is not possible if you are out-of-shape and set too high goals for yourself in the beginning. The last thing you want to do is become discouraged and revert back to your old ways. As I mentioned in the above article, if you are over 40 or have had health problems, you should first get a physical check-up and ensure your doctor is on side. You also may want to take advantage of the many fitness programs in your community, where you can have your fitness evaluated and a program recommended.

Once the maintenance of your physical well-being is a part of your weekly schedule, over time you will find your energy levels, your hiking range and your ability to handle physical tasks increase. These increases do wonders for your confidence in the outdoors as well as in other activities, not to mention your health and life expectancy.

So what’s wrong with that?


About Don Meredith

I am a writer and biologist living in Alberta, Canada. I wrote a monthly column for the Alberta Outdoorsmen magazine, and have published articles for several other magazines.
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