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The CDC just released a news item with estimates of physical inactivity in the 3,141 U.S. counties. This data has helped us with our choice of a new home.

Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity by county in the United States

Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity by county in the United States

We have been looking for a house to make into a home for months, and one of the important variables for us was the easy access to outdoor activities. We already do quite a bit of walking, partly because where we presently live has an easy walk to grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and Lucky, and a large Barnes and Noble bookstore; also it is just few blocks to the BART (intercity train) station.

We were able to find a new home with nearly all of our walk-ability necessities in Bend, which is in the center of Oregon (the large yellow area in the map above) and it has much more. A fine complete recreation center, called the Juniper swim and fitness center, will be an easy walk and it’s next to a supermarket. These are good locations because it becomes very easy to maintain a physically active lifestyle without actually doing anything requiring mental effort, other than choosing to walk through a pleasant neighborhood for several blocks. A ten-minute walk to the grocery store and ten-minute walk back covers the minimal amount of exercise and from the grocery store it only takes another couple of minutes’ walk to get to the fabulous Juniper exercise center. Our plan is to walk straight to the Juniper, do a swim, and a Pilates training for a half hour, then back walk back through the park to the grocery store, (30 yards off the upper right corner of the picture below) and then on home. It’s all easy to do and pleasant.

Juniper Park swim and fitness center Bend Oregon

Juniper Park swim and fitness center Bend Oregon.

To those who have never exercised much and never walk anywhere that routine might sound a bit harrowing, but I jogged (actually ran) several times a week for decades, and completed several marathons. Although most people would probably think of me as quite lazy most of the time, I do actually move about sometimes. If there are no groceries to chase down, we always take a long walk at least once a day. Of course, our present home is located in a natural garden paradise of the plants of the world—anything will grow in the Berkeley area. Bend is much more a mono-culture both botanically and culturally, and that will require some adaptation, but it is very safe and pretty. With my new bon mot of finding a solution which can be made to work and then putting effort into making it work, instead of over-thinking the problem like I am prone to do, this new house will be easy to make into a very pleasant home.

Easy living can be intentionally built into one’s living situation.