Monday, January 28, 2013

Hit the road Jack and don't ya come back...for at least an hour

That's right hit the road jack, get off you big fanny and hit the road!

I am really really laze and hate exercising, it is something I have to force myself to do but once I get started I find that I am enjoying myself. I feel good, I feel fit when I exercise. So why is it so hard for me to get started?

One of my newest passions is what my husband and I call Urban Hiking. No special equipment is needed. Just a comfortable pair of shoes and an adventurous spirit.  Urban hiking is nothing more than taking a walk around your neighborhood. Exploring and getting to know the world around you. My favorite hubby and I like to go out at night after traffic has settled down and most people are inside. The air is cool and the night is quiet.

When we go urban hiking we set a goal of a minimum of 30 minutes but we usually do 1-2 hours easy. When we go, it is not a race, it is not a run. It is about getting out off the house, moving, and exploring the town we live in. We try to take a different path each time we go, we like to explore different streets, look at the houses and talk about what we aspects we like and don't like. We get ideas for decorating, landscaping  and talk about our dream house.

The best part about urban hiking is it gives us time to just be with each other and to talk. We talk about work, plans, books, dreams, politics, goals, and so much more. Think about it when was the last time you and a loved one just talked for an hour with out the distractions of TV, computers, phones, kids, whatever?

During the summer months we go out at dusk and make a game of seeing how many people we can make smile by saying hello?  In California people don't say hello to each other, isn't that strange? I guess we are afraid we will get shot or something.  I love to see the strange looks on peoples faces as they try and think who I am and what I want, then they realize I am just being friendly or am a kook. Perhaps a bit of both.

We started plotting out places to walk to, things to go see. Sometimes we take the long way, sometimes we take the short path, it just depends on our mood.

We no longer drive to the grocery store, instead we walk the 1 mile (2 miles the long way) and just buy what we need for the next 2-3 days. We walk to our favorite restaurant (1 mile) or Mexican place (5 miles), the movie theater (4 miles), the hobby shop (3 miles). At an average walking speed where we can have a conversation we both walk about 3 miles per hour. so in about an hour we can run most of our errends, get some exercise, and enjoy each others company!

The gym gives you a good workout but walking can be more challenging. We live on the side of a mountain so no mater which direction we go half of our walk will be uphill. At the gym it is easy to quit but if you walk for 1 mile your going to have to walk the mile back home, unless of course you call a cab.  The gym is stuffy, full of sweaty people who listen to obnoxious music and leave germs on the equipment. Walking lets you get to know where you live, meet people, and has fresh air. The gym costs money, walking is free.  Don't get me wrong, I still have my gym membership and use it. There are things I like about the gym, but sometimes you just have to mix it up.

Cool things we have seen/found on some of out urban hikes : A family of skunks, a herd of wild burros, a police car herding the wild burros out of the city, various wildlife, a meditation labyrinth, a local tavern with a beer garden, former students, cool houses, unusual flowers, strange lawn art, friendly people, hidden paths up the mountain, the mayor, and friendly people.

So my point is, yes there is a point somewhere in all of this rambling. Stop making excuses you lazy but, get off the couch/computer/whatever and take a walk!

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