My Favorite Exercise

I recently read that sitting is the new smoking. As a society, our tendency to sit has increased significantly in the last few years. Exercise and clean eating are effective treatments for many chronic conditions. People with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking. Depression and anxiety can be significantly reduced just by going for a walk in a park. Being surrounded by nature has soothed my soul since I used to roam the ridges of our mountain farm in western North Carolina as a five-year-old. Going for a long hike through the woods, around the lake, or up a mountainside is the best mini-vacation for me. When the weather or my schedule does not allow for two hours of hiking, I will settle for a half-hour of walking fast around my neighborhood.

One of my favorite places on earth is Roan Mountain State Park, a short drive from my home. A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Glenda, and I took a long hike through the woods and across the balds to enjoy the blooms of the flame azalea and rhododendron, which naturally grow there. The full riot of flowers had not yet occurred.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of my part of the world. Have a beautiful weekend.

  1. Such stunning scenery! Isn’t it wonderful how being in nature makes everything feel right with the world. Have a great weekend.

  2. I don’t really care for hiking. I am a big believer in working out. I’m 69 and I’ve worked out 5 days a week for 40 years. I still lift weights, which is one of the best things for women to do to prevent osteoporosis, and participate in a fast one hour Zumba class 3 days a week. These types of excersise help to keep those jiggly bits you’re always talking about at bay. I have some now but not as many as if I’d never excersised. I also still wear makeup and color my hair red and always will. I love your clothing choices but few are suitable for my Florida climate or my fixed income budget. Although I’ve worked out for many years I too no longer wear shorts and only purchase 3/4 or long sleeves. Some body changes we can’t prevent.

  3. Looks like one of those gorgeous memorable days in nature that just fill your heart and mind with beauty and peace. I was never an athletic child, much more bookish but hiking and walking are now an absolute necessity in my life. And because of those health benefits over the last 25 years I was able to totally enjoy a recent bike and barge trip through Belgium and Holland without discomfort or pain. Thanks for sharing your corner of the beautiful world with us.

  4. What a lovely area for walking. For me walking is just around our subdivision and not very scenic at all. But I try to walk and bike a few times each week at least. I don’t find it fun but if I had a spot like your pictures, it would be more enjoyable. And at least no equipment or special sills are needed.

    Have a great weekend.

  5. This brings back good memories of vacations in western NC and visits to Roan Mt. Great hiking and biking! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  6. I’m glad I found your website – both with FNF and now I like the new one even better – perhaps because I turn 60 next month! You have a lovely way of sharing without being judgmental and I appreciate all you do.

  7. What beautiful scenery! I live in Palm Desert, CA, we are filled with flowers and trees but our surrounding scenery is brown. Nevertheless, it is beautiful. The brown mountains look like stage scenery cutouts against the blue, blue sky.

  8. Thank you for the style personalities posts . So useful .

    I love your pictures in the woods . A good advice to leave house and walk in the nature.

  9. Wow, that looks like a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing. I walk every day. My little dog expects it and it helps me clear my head. On days I just want to be lazy I think back at a time when I was having some back issues and unable to go for a walk. That gets me going each and every time 🙂
    Have a great weekend

  10. Gorgeous scenery. Very green. I also find walking to be the best exercise for me. Less pounding on knees and back.

  11. Carolina on my mind. It still sings to my soul after 77 years! Coming back in October:) Thanks for sharing.

  12. Beautiful scenery! I hike 365 days a year and pray I’ll be able to continue for a long time. At 66, with my plant based diet & daily hiking, everything works and nothing hurts.

  13. Yes…great piece…I shared on my FB page…my philosophy has always been (well since I was about 40) “one must use it or lose it!!!!” I’m stunned at how many of my peers (I’m 77) spend most of their time sitting. I too love to read, knit, cross stitch, go to Broadway shows and play Mah Jongg but, after my family and church…next comes exercise. I walk, take spinning classes, yoga classes, Pilates classes and work with a trainer. Once those activities are on my calendar, I add the activities that involve sitting.

    Thanks for another interesting and informative blog…You remain the best over 60 blogger I follow in all aspects of, health and fitness. I still hope to meet you one day on one of my road trips from CT to Nashville and back. That happens less frequently now because I’m too busy and active to take a trip.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  14. A beautiful area! you and your sister are so cute together. I love walking too and walk 6-8 miles a day, rain or shine.. It really makes me a happy and healthy person. Thank you for sharing!

  15. New Zealand is our home which has so much natural beauty in one tiny nation (particularly in the South Island) that we feel we are truly lucky to live here. But as a result of following your blog I would really love to tour your part of the US to see beauty on a giant scale.

  16. What a beautiful place to have so close to you Susan. I agree with all your points above – exercise and being close to nature are so beneficial to our health. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Now, I agree with you that sitting is not good. But many of us have to sit all day in front of a computer screen in order to make money so that we can buy pretty clothes!! And that also limits our time to take walks or hikes, particularly at times of the year when it is dark after work. Plus sitting and using your brain all day can be pretty tiring. Add family responsibilities and the prescription isn’t good or pretty. You are so lucky, not only to see these sights, but to have the leisure to spend your time in this manner.

    1. Believe me; I am very thankful for my rare leisure time. I haven’t had a vacation of more than three days in a row in more than twenty years. I work part of or all of seven days a week, and start work at 4 AM regularly, so I know what you mean about long hours and hard work.

  18. As a Virginian this looks so familiar to me The gorgeous Blue Ridge embeds its beauty on your heart! These photos are stunning. ❤

  19. Beautiful pictures! I live in the country and love going for walks to enjoy the natural beauty. It’s my favorite exercise, too.

  20. Lovely pictures, and have enjoyed your take on various looks and styles recently. Not a negative comment, just querying horizontal stripes for us busty girls? I avoid them as I prefer plain colour scoop neck T tops or tunics with jeans. Also are hoodies or fleece tops ok when exercising (only)? – or fine for casual errands etc? I have less prints since reading your blog.
    Enjoy your walks when you are able to.

  21. So beautiful..thank you so much for inspiring me..I so need this kick in the pants…I love your website keep it up!!!!!

  22. Hello Susan!
    That exercise is so calming and therapeutic… beautiful scenery.
    Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!


  23. Enjoyed this series of your examples on the different style personalities and combinations. Lovely nature photos of your hike with your sister. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  24. Beautiful! I love to walk in the woods but became afraid a couple of times and it stopped me from going. A bear, a rattlesnack, and a mountain lion.

    Do you worry about safety?

    I wish I had your courage. I love your outings and the photos. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I don’t fear the animals as much as I do falling. I slipped and fell on my back on boulders by a river while hiking alone a few years ago. That taught me a lesson. I always hike with friends and or my sister in a public area such as a park.

  25. What breathtaking scenery! I appreciated so much your blogs this week, thank you.
    Loved your Fathers Day message & beautiful family!

  26. Lovely scenery with two inspiring ladies! Thank you for the reminder to get up and get out. I’m lucky enough to have 3 sweet little Chihuahuas who don’t allow me to sit for too long. I love to grab one of them and drive to a nearby nature park to enjoy walking along the Potomac, watching the osprey and bald eagles and watching my dogs sniff out a box turtle or two.

    Your Roan Mountain State Park is stunning this time of year and looks to be worth a drive – what else is nearby that might make it a quick weekend trip?

    1. The mountains around this area offer many beautiful places to visit and tons of outdoor activities. Blowing Rock, Linville, Asheville, The Appalachian Trail and The Blueridge Parkway provide opportunities for High Country drives, hikes, shopping, river sports, waterfall visiting, and an endless variety of dining experiences.

  27. If you took those photos your self then you are also a great photographer. They look like post cards. You make me want to visit Tennessee some day.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.