Monday, August 16, 2010

Just Doing It

I've had a pretty rough weekend, so the last thing I wanted to do was any kind of exercise. I typically do a work out video every day which is a mixture of cardio and weight lifting, but I couldn't get myself to do it. We had family coming over, the house was a disaster, and, in all honesty, I preferred to stay in bed and watch old "Friends" episodes in my blissfully dark bedroom. However, I don't do well if I sit around all day. To me, sitting around and watching the grass grow is a completely wasted day. I'm not sure if this is a testament to how I was raised or if this is just a personality trait of mine. Either way, it seems nearly impossible for me to relax according to the average Joe's standards.

To me, it can be relaxing to have a completely spontaneous day. When I don't know what is going to happen, it excites me and I feel like I'm on vacation (even when I'm less than a mile from home!). I love to be outside, to have picnics, to take my dog on walks, or to go for long bike rides and hikes. To me, that feels more relaxing than the cliche of "laying around eating bon-bons."

So what's my point? Well, after feeling fairly useless on Friday and Saturday due to my lack of exercise and addiction to Matthew Perry's witty banter as Chandler Bing, a friend of mine, Leisa, suggested that we take a nice long walk on Sunday morning on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. I had never done that walk, so I agreed. We planned to leave at 9 in the morning, so I attempted to go to bed early. I didn't really succeed and, in fact, wound up waking up at 5:00 and couldn't get back to sleep. I was pooped by the time Leisa let me know she was outside and ready to roll. How was I going to get through this?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, you can access the Los Gatos Creek trail from many different points. We chose to start in Campbell and hiked all the way to downtown Los Gatos. Round trip, that is approximately 10 miles. Yikes. Couldn't I just stay home and watch one more episode of "Friends" instead?

I have to say that walking that trail was the best thing I could have done all week. I decided to wear ankle weights (don't ask me why) for the first 5 miles and then removed them for the walk back. The ankle weights added more intensity to my walk, but I didn't feel that they were entirely necessary. All I knew was that I felt completely relaxed and comfortable walking with a good friend and getting my daily dose of exercise. When Leisa and I arrived in Los Gatos, we stopped for a light breakfast (yogurt and fruit for me and an egg, tomato, and avacado breakfast sandwich for her) to get our energy up for the walk back to the car.

After an obviously comatose start to my weekend, I think I was the most relaxed on the trail. I felt invigorated afterward and my muscles were screaming for more. I guess the point of posting this entry is to let everyone know how easy it is to fall into a sedentary routine. I am known as the "exercise nazi" and I still have trouble motivating myself to get moving sometimes. If you feel like you're having a similar problem, exercise in a way that doesn't feel like work. Your exercise routine doesn't have to feel forced. Find something that not only gets you moving, but that also relaxes you. Walks, hikes, bike rides, yoga, and dance classes are my "relaxation exercises." What are yours?

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