Fortifying  mind, body and outlook

I have always thought that exercising was an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. I grew up under the influence of people who take exercise and staying active very seriously. If it was a nice day outside my mother inevitably would suggest going for a walk or a hike, or simply going outside and playing a game of tag. The notion of staying active is still a strong belief in my family. My grandmother walks, bikes, hikes, and plays tennis. All of these are done multiple times a week. My mother has followed in the footsteps of her mother. She also walks, bikes, and plays tennis; again, multiple times a week.

Growing up under these role models has set me up for an active lifestyle. My choice of exercise is not biking, hiking, tennis, or walking. I choose to exercise by spending time in the barn and riding horses. On any given day, I am outside in the barn lifting hay bales, carrying water buckets, mucking stalls, and caring for the horses. I also ride for at least an hour every day, which combines strength and cardio.

I believe that exercise is not only good for the physical aspect of the body but also for the mental and emotional parts. It is a great way to push oneself to the best she can be. Exercise creates the perfect opportunity to set obtainable goals and achieve them. It promotes strengthening of muscles, self-esteem, and confidence. Exercise can serve as an outlet for frustration, a source of pleasure, and any other needs that a person might have.

Sometimes the hardest part of exercising is starting a routine, and getting into the swing. The initial plunge is always the hardest part. To start off my summer exercise routine I committed to the 90-day challenge. So, sign up, get up, get out, and exercise.

Victoria McTague lives in Temple.

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