Since my retirement I've been able to be more consistent with my daily dog walking. The dog and I walk about one mile a day....every day. I've come to believe that the consistency is the most important part of exercising for life. It doesn't really matter if my walk is slightly shorter or longer than average, but it does matter that I do it as close to every single day as possible. So, given that, I think it matters less what you do, and more when you do it....how often. You can walk, garden, dance, swim, whatever, but you need to do it regularly.
That brings me to part 2: occasionally it is nice to push yourself beyond your every day activity level. I like to hike and that accomplishes the extra push. This past week I went hiking with my brother and sister-in-law and my dog. The first day we hiked Big Schloss. It was about 4.5 miles and about 800 feet of elevation change, but most of that change was in the first mile so it was pretty steep going at first. I thought I was going to die. But I didn't and then I felt rather accomplished when it was all over. The view from the top is fantastic. There was a strong wind at the top and my ball cap from Hawaii got sacrificed to the ravine. I guess I'll just have to go back to Hawaii for another. Shucks.
The next day we hiked to a Dark Hollow Falls in the Shenandoah National Park. It was a shorter hike, but about the same elevation change. Again, the falls were beautiful and very full with the recent rains we've had. I couldn't take the dog on this hike since that trail is closed to pets. A fellow hiker told us of another way into the falls and I may try that trail with him the next time. It was a nice way to add additional exercise, although I'm not sure it resulted in any further weight reduction. I'll have to have another weigh in soon to find out.