Walking Fact Wednesday

This week, we help dispel some myths (below).

But know that whatever form of motion you choose — walking, running, unicycling, roller skating — you’ve already achieved a goal. And that’s the goal of being active. Congrats! (And may you burn some calories in the process.)

The claim that you'll


Enough is enough

I’m pretty susceptible to advertising. Like those fast food commercials, where the Coke is so fizzy and you can almost feel how cold it is? Ahhh. Or just about any Hallmark commercial will have me reaching for the tissue box before it’s over.

I also really have a thing for clever tag lines — especially ones that employ a play on words. For example: Kudos to whoever came up with the slogan for a mattress company: “Sleepy’s, for the rest of your life.”

Anyway … I’m sure you’re wondering, how does this relate to exercise and a healthy lifestyle?

I’m not a paid (or unpaid) spokesperson, nor do I have any special affinity for the company, but I think one of the most brilliant slogans ever is Nike’s “Just do it.”

traffic-lights-208253Just do it.

Simple. Actionable. Inspiring. Even motivating. All in three words.

And right now, lately, I could use a lot of the latter. I feel a little embarrassed to say this as a fitness instructor, but I have been severely lacking in the motivation (and, for that matter, willpower) department. Summer is usually the time when I’m shot out of a cannon, getting in lots of long walks, working in my yard for half the weekend, doing lots of biking, eating piles of fresh fruit and vegetables.

But I’ve been in a slump the past month or two. I’ve had countless arguments with myself about getting out of bed and going to the gym, or resisting too many sweet treats. Bed and treats have been winning. It’s so easy to get into a vicious cycle. Not exercising leaves me more fatigued, which makes me not feel like getting out of bed in the morning, which makes me feel like a slug, which makes me want to wallow … repeat.

Enough is enough.

Alarm goes off for gym time? Just do it.

Be more active? Just do it.

Choose veggies and hummus instead of potato chips? Just do it.

Take a lap around my office instead of checking Facebook? Just do it.

Mind over matter … here I go.

Keep moving

Spending so much time bicycling this summer had me wondering how on earth I’d keep up that level of activity when summer was over.

Thanks to an uptick in the temperature today, I spent about 4 hours outdoors being active.

I started my morning with an hour-long brisk walk. After that great warm-up, I spent another hour or so raking leaves. (Thanks to the hubby for bagging them up!) Then I dug up some dead annuals in my flowerbeds and garden and spent another hour or so pruning my going-crazy forsythia bushes and bundling up the results.

Feeling stiff!

Feeling stiff!

Midway through all this activity, I marveled at how good I felt. I have a full-time desk job and as much as I try and remind myself to get up and move around throughout the day, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. Couple that with a 2-hour total commute each day, and I sometimes feel like I’m permanently in a seated position. I envision someone coming to my aid with an oilcan, much like the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz.”

So to be standing or squatting, and moving in different bodily planes — twisting while raking, reaching while pruning, moving my arms side to side instead of out in front — felt so welcome and rejuvenating.

It’s common to read stories in magazines and online suggesting that exercise doesn’t have to come in certain forms (i.e. biking, running, weight lifting). I was active today for 4 hours and the only thing that resembled traditional exercise was my walk.

The key is that I was moving and using my body for activity. And no matter how you go about it, it feels good afterward. Think outside the box when it comes to exercise. Movement is the point, no matter what form it comes in.