With gyms and yoga studios closed during this pandemic, one of the best things to do is going for a walk or hike. On the days I don’t run,I really look forward to hiking.
Before the pandemic, I used to walk with friends several times a month. However, with social distancing, that isn’t possible. I usually walk alone or with my teenagers. Walking has allowed me to gain precious conversation time with them. It is amazing what we can talk about without phones, earbuds or other devices. It has brought us closer.
Sometimes you run into a few friends like turtles, frogs and deer. Sometimes we run into a few snakes. They are usually non-venomous and are as scared of us as we are of them!
The trees provide a lot of shade in the North Carolina heat and humidity. It is at least 15 degrees cooler in the shade!
Wildflowers are abundant and everywhere.
Babbling brooks are so peaceful. Standing by moving water is like meditation.
Sometimes you run into things that make you wonder…”What is this red thing”?
Rainy day walks with umbrellas are fun too.
Going early in the day means fewer people and less crowding. I really look forward to my walks. I hope you can get outdoors safely and take a hike. Long walks are truly underrated. It’s good for mental health and good for fitness. Stay safe!
Rain is sprinkling lightly. I am gearing up to run. A little rain is not going to spoil my workout. I try to run at least three days a week, usually 25+ miles a week. There are two days that I bike with my workout buddy, M. Running has been a must for me since I was 14 years old. It helped me lose weight as a teenager and has become a necessity like air or water. Most people who don’t run always ask me how I run by myself and why I run so many miles. The simple answer is “I feel like a million bucks.” I have this “lightness” after my runs. I like to call it an “Unbearable Lightness of Being”. Yes, it is a runner’s high, endorphins…There is a Daniel Day Lewis movie by the same name, but that lightness is not from running!
I wish I could bottle that feeling so my friends, who always shake their heads at me, can feel it too. If they did, I bet they too would take up running or biking. This feeling lasts all day. On the days that I don’t run or bike, I don’t feel light. Unfortunately, I can’t run everyday because I have a metal plate and six screws in my left leg, (that’s another post!).
M and I have both suffered from overuse injuries this spring and summer. These injuries are fixable through physical therapy. Both of us are working through them and injuries are not a reason to stop moving. When one of us could not run or bike, we walked. Walking is a great exercise. It certainly takes longer to walk than run, but it still moves major muscle groups and burns calories. And the best part, it gets the heart rate up and results in that “unbearable lightness of being”. Now, I can’t tell you at what mileage or how long it will take for you to feel “lightness”. Each person is different and therefore, it will be a pleasant discovery for you.
According to most health experts, a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy. In my suburbia, we don’t walk very much. Most people drive to their gym and drive elsewhere. Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are very sedentary. My mom and dad were really surprised to see how many steps they got in a day. Their inexpensive Fibit clips have motivated them to get 10,000+ steps a day. My mom is now understanding how good it feels to walk. She has lost a few pounds, but isn’t feeling the “lightness” yet. It takes time and patience. I like to encourage her everyday because it will happen and she will feel it! I have included one of my easy post workout snacks below.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE
2 T Jif Peanut Butter Powder
2 T Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hemp Powder
1 T Nesquick or Cadbury’s sweetened Chocolate Powder
1.5 C So Delicious Xtra Protein Vanilla Almond Milk or your milk of choice
Based on the nutrition label on each product, I calculated about 235 calories and 16 g protein.
Combine all ingredients in an immersion blender or regular blender and enjoy!