We asked Bonnie Dials of the UGA Extension Northwest District office to share what she loves about exercising and how she stays motivated.
What motivates you to stay healthy?
The biggest motivator would be to live a longer life. As time marches on and the numbers keep turning over on my calendar of life, I want to see my grandchildren grow up and have children of their own. I have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, and I would like to make the right choices to stay healthy.
Walk GA was another motivator, and when I joined the first session, I enjoyed walking across the counties in Georgia and finding out about each county. I have even visited a few [in person] because of the program. The Walk GA program also gives me the motivation to keep going by tracking my mileage—trying to reach a higher goal each session.
What do you enjoy most about exercising?
Exercising is a great stress reliever, and running is the way I exercise most of the time. I have made many friends while running, and having someone to exercise with makes it more fun.
What do you do to stay fit?
I like to work in the yard and walk our very large dog. We have a great gym on the Griffin campus, and I started working out in the gym a few years ago to lower my cholesterol. I went from the bicycle to the elliptical, and then I started walking on the treadmill. One day I tried to run and almost fell off the treadmill; it was hard but I did not quit.
I ran my first Peachtree Road Race in 2012, finishing with my son, which was an extra treat. I have had a lot of support from my family and my friends to keep moving. It doesn’t matter what the age, if you can put one foot in front of another, you are winning!
How do you make time for exercise?
Since I work from 8-5 pm, I get up at 4 am a couple of days a week to meet with friends to run at 5:30 am. I also workout in the gym or outside during my lunch hour. When it gets cooler, we will start running after work.