Friday Five: 5 Ways to Walk Indoors

Happy Friday, everyone! (**UPDATE: Day 5 walk DONE! see photos at end!)

Hey, remember the other day when some of you (no names!) were all upset because you couldn’t go outside and walk for more than a few minutes without your fingers and toes falling off? ‘Cause you’re all, y’know, snowflakes?

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Well, for those of you who are still knee-deep in snow, ice, or whatever it is that happens outside my warm, comfy Southern California bubble, here are some ideas to keep you walking!

1. Treadmill – by far the most popular. If you belong to a gym, and the roads are clear, you could always just hop into your Humvee, crank up the heater, and drive there. [Note to self: insert plug for Anytime Fitness Chatsworth here!]  Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the roads AREN’T clear. Not a problem if you’re rich, right? ‘Cause you’ve already got one at home. But not everyone’s rich.

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And good treadmills are expensive. However, if you keep your eyes and ears open,

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you might be able to get one cheap, or free! Just look for a neighbor, friend and/or relative who lost a lot of weight in the not-too-distant past, but has recently started to pile on the pounds again. Chances are they’ve got some kind of exercise equipment in the basement, doubling as a clothes hanger.

Now that they’ve lost their will to stay in shape, they’re probably sick of looking at it. A few discreet questions, a little faux sympathy, and heck, they’ll probably pay YOU to haul it away! Score!

2. DVDs/Videos – Yeah, a home treadmill is nice, but if you don’t have one, and you can’t get out of the house today, well, it’s kind of a moot point, isn’t it? Not to worry! Most of us (by which I mean, those of us who are around/over 60, which I assume is my target audience, given the blog title) still have a DVD player around, or even (gasp) a VHS player!

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So check your bookshelves and your videocassette drawers to see if you have any of those awesome Leslie Sansone walking workouts!

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They … [voice whispers offstage] Huh? Oh really? OK, well, I guess you could also get them online, via YouTube or Amazon or one of them newfangled digital thingamabobs. If you want to be all modern and everything.

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Anyway, whatever format you can find them in, her workouts are actually a lot of fun, and you can get the same workout as a brisk walk outdoors. It’s worth a shot!

3. The Laura Ingalls Wilder “Long Winter” method — You all remember Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, right? Well, here I’m talking about the real one, not the blow-dried ’70s TV version.

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The REAL Ingalls family had the bad luck to be living in De Smet, South Dakota during what’s now called the Great Blizzard of 1888. You can read all about it in her book, “The Long Winter,” available at all fine bookstores and non-“woke” libraries.

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Anyway, while Laura, Mary, and Carrie were stuck indoors, Pa and Ma made sure they got plenty of exercise – Pa by playing his fiddle and marching them around the cabin, and Ma by making them sweep the floors, clean the stove, and oh, just generally doing everything she was too tired to do herself. What a great time they had!

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So if you have any kids around the house, make them do some exercise while you sit and watch. You’ll all feel great afterwards!

4. Mall walking — Again, this is only for people that aren’t completely snowed in and have a reliable vehicle of some sort.

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You can walk around for hours and hours, eating and drinking, stuffing your face, maxing out all your credit cards … it’s great! And it counts as exercise, too! (Although that stuff you got at the food court might cancel out some of the calories you’re working off.) Still, it’s worth a try, and who knows, maybe you can get some groovy new tunes to add to your mix tape while you’re there, too!

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5. Get a dog. Dogs don’t understand “It’s raining outside, you’ll have to wait.” If you don’t take them outside for even a *short* walk, you’ll regret it. Maybe not now, but later, especially when Fido gets desperate and poops in your laundry hamper.

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Trust me, bundle up and walk the dog. If you don’t have one, you can TRY walking the cat. It’s a long shot, though.

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Maybe you could just walk your IMAGINARY pet.

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Oh, all right, all right – if it’s THAT bad, stay inside, build a fire in the fireplace, toast some marshmallows, make some hot chocolate, and relax! I hereby absolve you from having to walk, at least till the icicles on your eyebrows start melting.

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Stay warm, everyone – see you Monday!

**DAY 5 Walk done! Since the weather’s dried out (marginally!) I was originally gonna drive to some faraway, exotic place (like, I dunno, Pacoima or Simi Valley) and do a walk in a completely different locale, but at the last minute decided to do yet another Reseda walk. Just put on my walkin’ shoes (Skechers!) and headed out. And once I got out there, it was nice. It’s ALWAYS nice, once you get started. So just GO!

 

 

Friday Five: Things you (normally) don’t see from the treadmill!

Happy Friday, everyone, and of course:

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During the past week, we’ve had quite the little deluge here in normally sunny Southern California, so I’ve been forced to ditch the outdoors and spend some quality time in my least unfavorite gym, Anytime Fitness in Chatsworth.

As gyms go, it’s one of the best, but weather permitting, I’d really rather be walking (or running! yes, I’m running now, believe it or not!) OUTDOORS!

Because you know, there are things you see outside that you just don’t usually see from your gym treadmill. For example:

  1. These horses, saying “Howdy!” along a bike path in Chatsworth.
    friday five 1 horses
  2. These bees, living in a manhole alongside a Chatsworth sidewalk.
    friday five 3 bees in a manhole
  3. The wash next to this bike path, sunny one day…
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  4. and getting ready to flood the next.
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  5. And finally, these papier mache dolls, just hanging out on a street corner in Reseda, which are not AT ALL creepy and will NOT appear in your dreams tonight.
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Of course, it’s entirely possible you might have seen similar strange and interesting things from your treadmill. If you have, let me know and I’ll post your story/photo next week!

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From “Whole Lotta Shakin: The Weird History of Gym Equipment”

Meanwhile, have a wonderful (and hopefully OUTDOORS!) weekend! See you Monday for the weigh-in! (and sweet dreams! heh heh heh…)

Friday Five: Yes, you CAN get in shape without a gym — here’s 5 ideas to try!

While it’s true I’ve been going to the gym a lot more lately, it’s NOT because I think going to the gym is the only — or even the best — place to exercise. Au contraire, Pierre! As a matter of fact, during this past week, I haven’t set foot in a gym, and yet I managed to get some perfectly cromulent exercise under my belt!

See, out here in sunny Southern California, we have this annual weather phenomenon known as “June gloom.” According to the always reliable Wikipedia entry:

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June Gloom is a Southern California term for a weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer.

It’s usually in June (duh!), but sometimes, like this year, it stretches its icky tentacles back into May. The City Council unanimously voted to rename it “May Grey” (though they continue to dispute the “Grey/Gray” spelling), and it seems to have become a more or less permanent fixture out here these past couple of years.

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However, as depressing as all those icky clouds may be, there’s always a silver lining, and that silver lining is that May Grey (Gray) and June Gloom (Glüm) are GREAT for outdoor exercisers! I’ve actually enjoyed bypassing the gym this past week, and ambled all around the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley.

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Old Stagecoach Trail, Santa Susana Pass

And there’s lots of other stuff you could do outdoors, too, thus seguing neatly into my Friday Five list:

  1. Walking. (See above!) In case you didn’t already know, walking outdoors is my all-time fave exercise. Mainly because it’s so interesting — you can walk around the same area multiple times and see something different every time. Whereas on the treadmill, I’m pretty much seeing the same thing: a TV screen and a brick wall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still, given a choice, I’d prefer this — wouldn’t you?
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  2. Biking. Pull that rusty ol’ Schwinn out of the garage, wipe off the dust and spiderwebs, pump some air into the tires, and roll! More and more cities have dedicated bike paths, so if it’s been a while, you should be able to find someplace to practice without worrying about evil bike-hating drivers.

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    Don’t Shoot the (Bike) Messenger,” by Eben Weiss, Outside Magazine, 05/02/2018 

  3. Exercise with a friend, or perhaps just a casual acquaintance. I go to the Sepulveda Basin sometimes to do my walks. It’s a great place — basically a big giant neighborhood park on steroids. But even in the smaller neighborhood parks, there’s groups of people who work out together. Some groups do yoga or Tai Chi, others do more strenuous stuff.
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    The basic idea, I guess, is that if you’re embarrassed to move your body around in public, you’ll be slightly less embarrassed if a few other people are standing next to you doing the same thing. (Hmm, wonder if that’s how churches got started!)
  4. Get your game on. I’m definitely NOT a sports aficionado, but I understand there are people who enjoy throwing or hitting balls, aiming for things like nets or bases or goals or some such nonsense. Maybe you can find some other like-minded people who want to throw or hit things, gather them onto an appropriate field of some sort, and throw/hit some balls together. It may not be MY thing, but it’s definitely exercise, so go for it!
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  5. Swimming. I left this for last, because honestly, who wants to jump into an icky, ice-cold lake or, God forbid, ocean when it’s cloudy and gloomy? Still, there are a lot of nutty people out there who prefer the cheap showiness of nature to that beautiful, clean (or at least clean -LOOKING!) pool at the gym. So, if there’s some form of water near you that’s big enough to swim in, go for it! That’s definitely some good cardio there, if you don’t get eaten by sharks, which, as I understand from my TV viewing, happens quite a bit.
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So definitely, enjoy the outdoors before the temps zoom up into the stratosphere and we have to go back to the air-conditioned treadmills. Just watch out for the sharks!

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