Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 13:45.

 smiles skiing vail exercise endorphins

We have heard that getting a “runner’s high” is a motivation for our adult exercise focused friends to train for marathons,  and we have seen our children in highly exhilarated moods after playing strenuously at the beach all day with their cousins or other kids.  

My mom always said that the best way she knew to improve her mood was to take a strenuous fast walk or do some hard agricultural pruning or hoeing of weeds.  

But, more and more, our USA “lifestyle” makes productive (best if it is financially productive too) physical exercise very difficult to find and to engage.   We sit at home or we sit at the office – relying on coffee and prescribed pills to prop us up ‘til its time to go to bed.


The extemporaneously snapped, all-smiles photo above is taken at the base of Vail, Colorado’s Vista Bahn Express ski lift at 4:15pm – after the last run of the day.   Was it the dizzying thin air at 8,100 feet (the tops of the quad chair lifts push 11,500’) which made these young skiers smile?  Or was it the day long hard exercise they just wrapped up?   Certainly the smiles were not the result of the $97.00 per person per day ski lift ticket price, and I don't offer a blanket endorsement of skiing - skiing is fossil energy intensive and (Vail in 1998) has been the target of environmental saboteurs

Personally, I think it was the strenuous all day exercise (and sunshine) which these skiers experienced which developed that endorphin or anandamides “up” feeling which is generating those happy smiles.

How about you?   GOT EXERCISE!?  At this time of year you can split firewood to get productive exercise.   Soon, when the ground isn't frozen, you can dig up a garden or ride your bike to work (watch the pot holes).   Even walk to work.   When I was a kid my dad set me up in an after school operation cleaning the mortar off of used bricks.   I got big money - a nickel for every clean brick!.  So maybe you can start a cottage industry of brick cleaning in your backyard.

What other ideas - for getting outdoor exercise and making a little income - does the Realneo community recommend for making us smile?  

PS:  "Successful Model of Behavioral Change" is another important topic the photo would support.   Notice all four skiers are wearing helmets.    I would estimate that 95% of all skiers I saw at Vail wore protective head gear - helmets.    This proves to me that with an intelligent approach -  including education, marketing, injury law suits, etc. - humans can quickly change their behavior.   More of this is coming under Mr. Obama.    



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