Fit for Travel


Regular Exercise and Reading Helps Me Tour at My Best

Exercise stations like this one line a trail along Sulphur Springs Drive in the South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.  It is pictured on May 20, 2024.

By Anna Krejci

Exercising and reading go hand in hand for me.  They are a perfect pair!  I love to read after I finish a workout.  This week the weather was in the low 70s and sunny early in the morning.  So, I saw my chance to get outside!  I headed to the South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks for a brisk trail walk, followed by a stop at a grocery store to pick up a copy of a newspaper and to buy an iced peach green tea from a coffee shop.  It was a wonderful, energizing outing.

At the South Chagrin Reservation, I walked on a shaded trail in the wooded areas.  I turned down Sulphur Springs Drive and found exercise stations along the trail.  I stopped to try one: a step-up routine that strengthens the thigh muscles.  Square wooden posts had been set in the ground.  They had flat top surfaces so I could choose the shortest one, corresponding to my height, and step on top, alternating legs.  It felt good, like climbing the first several stairs of a staircase.

I descended the trail, which was paved and, on a hill, passing more exercise stations as I went.  I did not try the rest, but I took note of them.  Some of the featured exercises I can do at home, like doing a knee lift, touching my toes, and jumping jacks.  I have a stretching and exercising routine that I like.  I can do all of it at home, and I think it is great, although the change of scenery I found at the park was something special.

I believe stretching, exercising, and keeping good posture will help prevent joint pain, back pain, and generally improve the functionality of my body.  I read that good posture lets a person receive the fullest benefits from their breathing and exercise strengthens muscles that support proper body posture.  I want to stay fit so that I can travel, be it locally or to places farther away.

I think it comes as no surprise that staying fit does a lot to enhance travel experiences.  Walking is probably one of the most common exercises that one does when they travel; taking a walking tour of a city or a cultural site takes a lot of stamina, and it takes the ability to stand, sometimes for two hours at a time or more depending on your plans.  Sometimes, even when you take public transportation in a city, you stand on the metro train because in popular places, the train seats have all been taken.  I remember commuting by bus in a European city, and I was allowed to stand on the bus – holding onto bars – because other people enjoyed the seats.  This was quite a metropolitan city and the more youthful passengers stood so elderly riders could sit.  This was a show of some of the best of humanity.

So, I have some exercising to do, as well as traveling and reading to look forward to.  After my walk, I sat at the kitchen table, and I read a copy of The New York Times as I sipped my iced green tea.  The windows could be open, and the breeze from outside swept in.  The New York Times carried stories that dealt with foreign matters as well as current affairs in the United States.  I think I most enjoyed a column from Ask NYT Climate, which is a service of the newspaper to provide answers to readers’ questions about climate change and ways to help solve climate change.  Some of the other topics covered in the issue made me feel that they detract from efforts to fix the climate change problem.  Why are humans fighting wars with each other on the global scene, and why are people harassing our political leaders at home when the most important thing we need is human cooperation in the face of climate change?  My feeling is that we don’t have time for these setbacks, yet I remain optimistic that the world is full of people who will continue to solve the problem of our planet growing too hot because of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.

I want to celebrate a future when I can tour many different places and contribute to a greener planet.  A little fresh air and exercise like I got at the Metropark, and some reading material, sustains me in important ways. I certainly felt connected to nature and mindful of myself.  I cannot ignore the care that the planet needs either.  I might become a regular reader of Ask NYT Climate, since I believe The New York Times has a lot of informational resources within reach.  We certainly are a connected planet.

The trail at the South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks is well shaded in the morning in May when I walked there.

Works Cited

“Guide to Good Posture.” Medline Plus, 27 Oct. 2017,

McCarthy, Ryan. “Tackling Your Most Pressing Climate Questions.” The New York Times, 20 May 2024, p. A2.