February 26, 2014

A Walk in the Park

By Crabby McSlacker

Fear not, this is not gonna be a long post or another massive camera phone dump.  Just a couple brief thoughts vaguely related to health and fitness inspired by a walk in the park yesterday morning.


1.  Walking is Underrated in the Fitness World But it Rocks.


I was actually headed to the gym yesterday, but got a few blocks from my door and said screw it and headed for the park instead.  It was a nice day, and I was feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list and realized that I was dreading the strength training and intervals that were on my exercise agenda.

So I put off my more psychologically and physically demanding fitness plans for one more day.

But big whoop, right?  Is it going to make much difference a year from now? A long walk is sometimes just what you need to regain perspective and get the hobgoblins in your head to shut the f--k up.

Plus, it's officially exercise, even if you accidentally enjoy yourself!



2. To Freshen Things Up, Go Backwards! 

I don't mean literally walk backwards for miles and miles, unless you are fond of falling on your keister and making a spectacle of yourself. (Though I actually DO recommend walking and running backwards for shorter durations--you still look like an ass but it's a great cross-training trick).

What I mean is if you are a creature of habit like I am, you may have a generally preferred route for your ambulations.  Taking even a slightly different route or simply reversing directions changes your perspective and all of a sudden you see things you didn't see before.

Duh, right?

I didn't take out the cameraphone until I'd already passed a bunch of things I'd never noticed before, but all three of these pictures are things I didn't see quite the same way, or at all, from the other direction.


3. Leaving "Home" Makes You Appreciate it More

When I've just gotten back from an excursion, my head tends to stay in "tourist" mode for a while and I look at familiar things with a slightly different perspective.  I think this is part of the reason the Lobster and I live such a weird peripatetic lifestyle, shifting coasts and taking off on adventures all the time. Changing up our environment seems to keep us more present wherever we find ourselves.

It does mean, however, there are inconveniences and stress that go along with travel and transitions. Our work life is more complicated and sometimes compromised, and we miss out on some of the joys that come with stability, rootedness, and consistency.  We don't see as much of our friends and family as we would if we'd stay the hell in the same place for longer than a few months.  And we've chosen to be both childless and pet-less, which sucks sometimes.

These are tradeoffs that wouldn't be worth it for everyone, especially sane people.  But I ain't one, and I gotta say it sometimes makes my life seem like a walk in the park.


Thoughts on roamin' vs homin'? Or walking as exercise? Or on how sucky the gym sounds sometimes and whether you go anyway or bail and do you feel guilty or can you rationalize the hell out of it like Crabby just did?

28 comments:

  1. I had a conversation about thsi topic this morning at the gym. One gal who regularly comes in and just watches the TV or chats but I have also seen her in the pool was talking about how she came in to do an exercise routine she hates and then didn't do it. I asked her why she doesn't do AquaFit instead as she seems to like that. She loves it, she says but she missed the class. So why not get a waterproof MP3 and rock out with all the pool toys they use in AquaFit on her own? She would love that she said as well.
    I've had this conversation with her a few times. I don't think I am being pressuring or pushy so I got to ask. Why is she still doing the come in and sit if she has the option to do something she loves?

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    1. Yeah Cindy, it DOES seem weird when people keep doing things they hate instead of things they love, but I can kind of understand the way inertia and fear and laziness can all combine to make it seem hard to try new things. There are times I tell myself I'm going to try something different at the gym from a magazine or something, then I get there, chicken out, and do the same-ol'-same-ol.

      But whenever I do experiment a bit I'm always glad. Hope this gal gets a little braver 'cause that would drive me crazy to witness too!

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  2. The beauty of working out at 5:00am - no time to think about it!! I do have days that I feel kind of less energetic so I either do something mild or if I think it is just laziness on my part then I will push myself and usually end up having a great workout.
    I keep telling Chris that I need to "winter" somewhere warm but so far it hasn't happened - hopefully soon!!!

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    1. I seriously doubt you have a "lazy" moment in your life Kim! But I'm not surprised you end up pushing yourself anyway. Your fitness feats always amaze me!

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  3. Reversing the route - thank you for the reminder! I know that my routes around the house definitely get stale. I know that in the past I've done them backwards, but for some reason this felt like a fresh reminder.

    As to walking - In the past six months or so I've started walking on my non-running days instead of spinning. I'm not sure why it started, but it did. I do want to add spinning back into the mix (marathon is less than 2 weeks away, and then my routine can be jazzed up but for now I'm sticking with what I've been doing!). Anyway, I find that walking for me is certainly less of an impact, more of a time suck/less of a calorie burn than running. But first thing in the morning sometimes mentally I can't get it together to run, so walking is "easy" and yet it still burns calories. I get far less sweaty, so sometimes it feels like I'm not doing much, but I know that it still matters.

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    1. It definitely is more of a timesuck OTF, and usually when I haven't been going on long walks it's because a faster paced exercise definitely burns more in less time. But I figure walking is multi-tasking in a way--I'm usually plotting and scheming or appreciating music or attempting to do the mindfulness thing. Hey, I can rationalize anything!

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  4. Walking is great exercise and I also used it to help get closer to some friends by asking them to meet me at a central location for early morning walking. Hopefully the weather here will improve as we get near spring and I can start that up again! For now its the treadmill indoors.... blah!

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    1. Sorry about the treadmill Suzie! Love the idea of making walking a social thing... in theory. I in practice I tend to enjoy solo walks the best, being somewhat of a misanthrope. But for actual NICE people, it's a great idea!

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    2. I'm with you thinking that walking is an awesome way to catch up with friends. We'll meet up, and verbally rewrite a TV show or movie. Some 15 kilometers later, and 20-30,000 steps, we feel like we've accomplished something. :-)

      You can feel the weather in my neck of the woods improving, so hopefully yours will too, and we can get back out soon!

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    3. Once on one of my regular walks I spent a mile near a woman who was talking on her phone to friend in another state who was also walking. It seemed a good way to meet up.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  5. I haven't done as much walking lately as I should. You've reminded me to get back to it, and to do it backward for a bit.

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    1. Well, the weather where you has not been quite as friendly as it has been in Southern California Leah! But that's great that you're wanting to get back out there.

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  6. Changes in longitudes, changes in attitudes as it were ;-)

    I work out in nature as much as I can. I know HIIT is so now, now, but LSD (long slow distance) has always been my favorite.

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    1. You are an old school renegade Dr. J but it suits you as you seem to be in tremendous shape!

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  7. Just wanted to post a quick update:

    Today I went to the gym and had an AWESOME interval workout, making a total ass of myself on the elliptical, periodically cranked up to an insane resistance level, and I was rocking out to my new playlist and having a grand ol time. And then I did some strength training in a dutiful grudging fashion, sighing and skipping any heroics, but I did get the minimum done.

    The weather today is gloomy so I am SO GLAD I said screw it yesterday to the gym and enjoyed the long walk in the sunshine.

    Hooray for slacking and procrastination, sometimes it's the perfect approach!

    :)

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  8. I would definitely go with the walking outdoors option whenever possible - I think there is something very beneficial about simply walking, even better if you can do it with some trees around and blue sky ! (And I did just that today at lunchtime, to escape from the office and walk down towards the sea).
    The homin' v roamin' comment was also interesting - being able to view everything as if it were new might bring a lot of benefits about keeping your awareness in the present moment.

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  9. I would love to take my cardio outside more but I don't want to have to drive for it! ;) I do go out & just walk casually around the neighborhood though. I can't run too much outside due to my feet but I would do more hiking & stuff if it was closer by.. I hate to drive in southern CA! ;)

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  10. From my front door to the end of the street, and back up and around to the other end, then back in front of my house is 1/3 of a mile. When i know i can't get in any other workout, i do that route at the top of the hour, at least 3 times and preferably 6. It at least gets me out and moving, and i sometimes use that as my warm up or cool down from other exercises.

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  11. I think I would have preferred the park too - looks like a gorgeous day!! I've always said that if I were to ever leave New England, I'd probably live in San Diego. I've visited there twice and it's SO nice.

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  12. Going backwards doesn't just change your perspective--the places I walk it changes how long the steep parts are.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. (Walking: my favorite.)

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  13. Um DUH! You're talking to WALKER Lady here. Walking should be my middle name. Of course it is my first name on my blog. Kinda Sorta
    :)

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  14. I love walking. In fact, one thing I miss now that I do so much organized exercise is just getting out and walking/wandering. When we had a dog, it was mandatory & we loved it, but the dog has been gone for quite a few years now & we have never found another one because...we are roaming too much to justify having a poor, lonesome dog left home. (how's that for a messy transition?) I don't wander as much as you and the Lobster, but there is an awful lot out there to see, so I keep looking. Walking and cycling are the two best ways I have found to make the roaming pleasant and worthwhile. You see so much more at a gentle pace! As your pictures prove, by the way!

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    1. I will miss my Ziva when she goes on. It should be a long time from now though and I am looking forward to the freedom to travel more, without worrying about getting someone to care for her, or a house sitter, or finding places that accept huge GSDs! I WILL miss her though, and WILL still go on walks. AND we just discovered cycling last year. Looking forward to doing more of that this year too. :)

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  15. I do this often, taking a walk instead of my scheduled, indoor exercise. In fact, I was just thinking that I'd do that today, as all my other workouts this week have been slowly killing me. Plus, it's sunny today, and I want to take advantage.
    Looking at those photos makes me miss San Diego! :)

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  16. I don't do gyms and don't have any equipment of any kind at home so walking is what I do for exercise. Where we're living now, there are lots of hills and steep paths which make it a bit of a challenge in parts. It works for me. Mostly. :)

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  17. I would prefer to be roamin' than homin'. But those six or seven numbers keep eluding me...not to mention all the Ativan I need when I fly.

    Walking for exercise is the best! I love to walk in the woods and seeing your pictures that don't seem to have any snow or ice in them has me craving the forest. We have had so much snow and ice that the trails may be soggy for a while, but I plan to get on them as soon as possible. Come on spring!

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  18. Thanks for the good advice Fun is the impulse to reduce my weight and others which I will put this advice to use.

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