Hello, my friends! As many of you know, it's a rare weekend when I spend the entire weekend at home. I don't know why I am wired like this - I just hate sitting at home. But then again... California is an amazing place to live! There's just so much to do! I am not married, and I don't have kids, so I try to take advantage of that and get out to see new places as often as I can. This weekend, however, I ended up staying home. I wasn't looking forward to it at first - I really wanted to go hiking, or possibly go to the beach. In the end, I stayed home this weekend (my body needs a break), but I decided to use that opportunity to discover new neighborhood walks to fit in to my routine!
My first three mile walk was really just a power walk through my neighborhood. I'm a very lucky girl - my neighborhood (pictured above) is pretty great. Even before trying to get back into whole workout thing again in December, I regularly walked my dog through our neighborhood, and I have often commented on how beautiful it is. I have been doing all of my cardio at the gym lately - what the heck have I been thinking?
Oh wait... NOW I remember! That sun is hot, y'all! It's fairly nice in the morning and the late evening, but my morning walk was interrupted by a few neighbors. It was enjoyable chit-chat, but man-oh-man did I burn! Check out my super red selfie that I took in my backyard. OUCH! Yet... the sun wasn't my only worry. I used to also be concerned that I couldn't go with as much intensity, or for as long, when the weather turned hot in the summer. If my Polar FT4 is correct, however, my 3 mile run/walk burned just over 600 calories! Woohoo!
Knowing that today was supposed to be even hotter than yesterday, I decided to wake up earlier today and walk along the river. I've walked this area with my dog before, but forgot that the bike trail itself was too busy to stay on it the entire time. Using the Map My Walk app, I mapped out a new four mile route using a combination of the bike trail and the sidewalk paths within the parks on either side of the highway.
The bike path here is paved and well-maintained. North of where I started, it widens to allow for both foot and bike traffic on the trail. It's fairly well shaded by the trees that line the path, so this helped with the heat as the sun continued to rise too.
The route I planned with Map My Walk eventually passes by a series of lakes and streams in an area park. If you've been following the news, you know that California is experiencing a terrible drought. When I've taken my dog to this park lately, the lakes have been nearly dry and the fauna burnt and browning from the California heat. We experienced a couple of decent rainfalls last week, however, and it apparently replenished this park's lakes! It was such a pleasant surprise to walk by this morning.
Without the distraction of friendly neighbors, I was able to get a much more rigorous walk this morning. Granted, the calorie burn was less but that's only because the time it took me to finish my route was shorter too! I hear from friends and family every day that they "wish" they had access to a gym so they could work out like I do. What a terrible excuse! My sister, Rachel, has lost one hundred pounds, and she did it 100% at home. And at my most fit in college, I was doing almost everything outside. The lesson? You don't need a fancy gym or fancy workout equipment to keep your body in shape. Use what you have! Walk or run or bike outside. Do bodyweight exercises from the comfort of your living room. Keep your body moving. You only need to get your heart going for 30 minutes each day to make a difference. So tell me... what's your excuse now? :)