Oops, I did it again!

…forgot to write my usual “Friday Five” blog post, that is!

Sorry about that! Oh well, you know what I was doing instead? I was getting my glasses adjusted — AND exercising, at (almost) the same time!

See, my glasses get out of kilter very easily, always tilting just a little too much to the right. So every once in a while, I have to get them adjusted.

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Usually, after the adjustment, I go out somewhere for a long walk. However, today it was threatening to rain again, and in case you hadn’t heard, we’ve had a LOT of rain here in sunny Southern California over the past week.

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So I decided to do my exercising indoors (like I wrote about in a previous post). And today, my indoor walk was at a big box hardware store called Lowe’s!

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It was great! I went in the front entrance and walked as far to one side as I could get (in this case, the lumber department). Then I just walked up and down each loonnnggg aisle, up and down, enjoying the relatively empty store (it was only about 9:30 a.m.) and the bouncy music being piped in overhead — for some reason I’m really enjoying the music they play in stores these days!

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Before starting, I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and when it went off, I cheered (silently! there were security people around, after all!) — my 30-minute daily walk was done AND I still had a couple of aisles left! Which I went ahead and walked. After that, I left, buying a bottle of diet soda on my way out (so as not to be a COMPLETE mooch!) and went on to enjoy the rest of my day.

Oh, and my glasses? Feelin’ good! I think I can get through another few weeks before my next adjustment slash exercise excuse!

Anyway, sorry for the non-Friday Five-type post, but you know me, I like to shake things up every once in a while! See you Monday for the weigh-in (after which I’m takin’ a road trip, yay!)!

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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!

 

 

Are you up for the 7-Day Walking Challenge?

Happy Monday, everyone! Well, last night I indulged in a special treat — prime rib (well done) with mashed potatoes and gravy and Yorkshire pudding, mmm!

So it’s really not that much of a surprise that this morning’s weigh-in is:

181.6

Grr! Ya know what? I’ve been hangin’ out in the ’80s too long! Maintenance is great, but this ain’t the weight I want to maintain! SO — this week I’m starting the Great 2019 7-Day Walking Challenge! Who’s with me?

Aw come on!! Seriously, here’s the ground rules:

  1. Walk (and/or run) for *at least* 30 minutes every day.That’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? And to make it extra special, I’ll add a second rule, just for me:
  2. Post a brief comment on the blog every day, even if it’s only, “Yeah, I did the #@*% walk, ok??”

And of course, I’ll still be counting my calories. So maybe THIS is the week I can finally blast through that border wall

Just a gentle reminder from Spidey

and get back into the ’70s! Who’s with me?

Well, I’m doin’ it anyway! So enjoy your Monday, and I’ll see you again — Tuesday!

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…
    friday five 2 brown wash sunny
  4. and getting ready to flood the next.
    friday five brown wash rainy
  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.
    friday five weird dolls (2)

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!

retro treadmill
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: A little late and a little short!

Hmm, I keep calling these posts the “Friday Five,” even though, from time to time, I can’t come up with five things. Wonder why?

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Yeah, but as Homer Simpson once said, “Hope springs internal,” so I’ll keep giving it the ol’ college try!

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Anyway, without actually getting into the numbers game, I did a lot of walking and BIKING this week! I’m particularly proud of the latter because I’ve been letting my poor ol’ cruiser languish in the garage for months, not even taking it out to wipe off the spiders.

But last week I decided it was time, so I’ve been puttering around the Valley (or at least my part of it) and getting slightly better at dodging traffic, not to mention running errands — groceries, post office, etc.

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So it’s been a productive week all around, and I’m looking forward to more bike/walk adventures in the near future (though preferably not at the same time)!

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That’s it — I guess the Friday Five will just be five memes, loosely connected by the fact that they’re on my page! Oh well, I’ll be back Monday with a weigh-in — a good one this time, I hope! Have a great weekend (and try to get outdoors, if you can)!

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When Nature Calls!

So there I was, Wednesday morning, debating which of my two gyms to go to for my workout. 24 Hour Fitness in Simi, with the awesome pool?

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Or the equally awesome Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, with the super-fun video treadmills?

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I was at a crossroads (literally! Roscoe and Valley Circle, for you fellow Valley-ites). I had to decide NOW: right turn for Chatsworth, or straight ahead for Simi?

Then, my friends, I had a profound realization:

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Yeah, I really did. And there was LITERALLY no time to get to EITHER gym!

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“Literally” literally, man! But then — aha! — I remembered that there was some sort of historical nature park with clean, easy to access restrooms, LITERALLY right around the corner!

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So I drove there; ran (well, walked really fast!) from the parking lot to the restroom; um, answered nature’s call …

and then … noticed this:

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and this:

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and realized that, while the gyms were nice and all, I’d kind of lost track of the whole reason I’d joined them in the first place: to lose weight and get in better shape, so I could go places like this:

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And so, Wednesday morning, instead of the comfort of the gym, I opted instead for the “cheap showiness of nature” … and enjoyed every minute of it!

The gyms will still be there when I want them. But it’s nice to know this will be, too!

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(and in case you’re wondering, that park is called the Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center. Go visit — it’s a lovely place for an amble!)

Weekly Weigh-in: On Fluctuations and Freakouts!

(sigh) OK, let’s get right to it, shall we, ’cause this is one o’them “teachable moments” y’all’ve heard tell about. Ready? Let’s go!

Today’s Weight:  198.0
d'oh

And what was last week’s weight? Let’s see … oh yeah … 194.8. Which means since last week — a mere seven days — I’ve GAINED 3.2 pounds!

Oh no!! Could it be my diet is at fault??

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Er, no. While I have to admit I was tempted to have a minor freakout at the number on the scale this morning, I realized that it wasn’t really as bad as it might seem. Here’s my rationale:

  1. I’ve been sticking close to my basic daily calorie allowance every day. Sometimes a little higher, sometimes a little lower, but on average, I’m okay.
  2. I’ve been going out on long walks, not every day but every other day. And since the weather’s warmer, I’m drinking more water than usual.
  3. Ipso facto ergo sum: the extra weight’s probably water, hun! (I know that doesn’t quite rhyme, but gimme a break, I haven’t had my coffee yet!)

This may well be just one of those dreaded “weight loss plateaus,” where you’re doing EVERYTHING right, but the scale doesn’t seem to agree. If you haven’t already, really, you NEED to bookmark this great blog, aworkoutroutine.com/blog, which talks you through all this stuff:

Problem is, most dieters (and I include myself, the last few times I’ve tried this!) get panicky when the scales don’t change, and after a while, they decide, “Aw, I give up! This diet isn’t working! Exercise is for suckers!”

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And they head straight for the nearest KFC, order the Big Giant Fried Chicken O’Death (with Mac & Cheese AND Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, puhleese!), and go back to the way of life which led them TO the diet in the first place!

And guess what happens next? Yeah — you veteran dieters are nodding. We know this all too well, right? As Flora, a Weight Watchers leader, once put it (at one of the few meetings I actually sat all the way through), “All those pounds will come back, and this time they’ll bring their little friends!”

 

Hey, if it happened to Doctor Who, it can happen to anybody!

So, I REFUSE to freak out and make any radical changes to either my diet or my exercise plan. I *will*, however, make the following (re)commitments for the week ahead, and see if that makes any difference next Monday:

  1. Be more diligent about writing down my food calories. I’ve allowed myself to get a little lax in the past few weeks, sometimes just keeping a running total in my head. Writing everything down, even those 15-calorie Ricola cough drops, may seem overly nitpicky, but that way I can be closer to 100% sure I’m in compliance with my daily calorie allotment.
  2. Go to the gym at least twice this week. Yeah, yeah, yeah, walking outdoors is more fun, exercising outdoors is more fun … I’m the one who always says that stuff, right? Still, going to the gym is good because you’re less likely to be distracted by interesting stuff along the trail (SQUIRREL!) and lose your exercise mojo. Plus, it’s gonna be super hot this week (yay!) so I’ll get to enjoy that sweet, sweet air conditioning.
  3. Weigh every day, check the averages. Again, from aworkoutroutine.com:

…if you weigh yourself every day and then take the AVERAGE at the end of the week (and base your decisions on THAT weekly number)… then you’ll have the most accurate figure you could possibly get. Doing it this way actually serves to eliminate the potential of daily weight fluctuations throwing things off. (from How Often Should You Weigh Yourself & When Is the Best Time?)

So — MAJOR BLOG FORMAT CHANGE! ALERT THE MEDIA!! — starting today, I’m going to post my morning weigh-in EVERY DAY!!

Wow — bet you didn’t see that coming! Guess what — neither did I! But ya know, it seems plausible, so I’m gonna try it for at least this coming week. (If it gets to be too much of a hassle, I’ll pretend I never said it, like people used to do in pre-Twitter times.)

Man, sounds like the week ahead is gonna be hard … I better get that coffee going! OK (deep breath) … see you TOMORROW then!

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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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Unused WordPress Daily Post Prompt: Archaic

 

A different kind of Friday post

Well, it took me a little longer than usual to haul my a$$ out of bed this morning, so I’m temporarily abandoning the “Friday Five” format. Just for today, how’s about I tell you what my week has been like?

So far, so good. My weight is still hovering around the 200 mark, in spite of the fact that I’ve been indulging in all those yummy goodies that were forbidden during Lent. Some more so than others (Frigo Cheese Heads Light String Cheese, I’m lookin’ at YOU!). But overall, I’m keeping the calories more or less under control!

However, I regret to report that I’ve been temporarily sidelined from my favorite exercise, walking, for a while, due to a sore bunion and a meddlesome bone spur. But never fear! Did you know that taking a hot bath can burn as many calories as a leisurely walk? (Especially if you use the right soap!)

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And it was on Fox News, so you know it HAS to be true!

So anyway — between the long, leisurely, calorie-burning baths, and an increase in the number of weekly visits to the gym (which I still hate, but can tolerate), I figure I can hold my own till the Amazon drone drops my my new, comfy shoes onto the roof sometime next week.

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Meanwhile, I’m heading out today to enjoy the sunshine! Hope your weekend is a good ‘un. See you Monday for the weigh-in!

Friday Five: Take a hike, pal!

Let me set the scene for you:

1) it’s raining;
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2) my husband’s home from work with a terrible cold;
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3) the cats are extremely annoyed by all that water falling out of the sky;
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4) I’ve got a delicious pile of “Big Nate” books to enjoy;
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and
5) most important of all, my Friday Five blog post is overdue!!
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So as you can see, I’ve got a lot of very, very good reasons NOT to go for a walk today!

However — as I just told my husband, who’s arisen from his bed of pain to cough up the *other* lung — I might go out later anyway, if only to the library, a paltry half a mile. Even though it’s raining, I kinda sorta wanna DO it!

That’s what makes walking, as your primary and regular exercise, so appealing, so addictive, and so below the radar as far as some of the more active fitness gurus are concerned. Sure, they’ll concede that walking is “nice,” you know, good for the elderly and the senile. However, as a way to lose weight, they’re the first to point out that walking only burns a few calories compared to their OWN exercise of choice: hoisting a ’57 Buick above their heads.

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But let me tell you something that people who walk regularly — if not every day, at least a few days a week — learn pretty quickly: walking is ADDICTIVE! in a way that other, more calorie-burning exercises are not.

And don’t get me wrong — if you enjoy running, weight-lifting, swimming, cycling, etc., then Mazel Tov, I say! Go for it! However, for me, I just find it way easier to put on my comfy shoes, grab a water bottle, and saunter down the block towards whatever adventure may await me, than to do any of those other things.

Walking just seems way more “user-friendly,” if that makes sense. And even though, yeah, on an hourly basis, it does burn fewer calories than those other, more strenuous exercises, I just don’t really want to DO any of those other exercises for more than an hour or two at a time, if that. Whereas I DO want to walk for a long, long time, and every day, if possible! So, ipso facto ergo sum, over time, I’ll burn more calories long-term just walking than I will with any of those other, “better” exercises.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough for this blog/hike … and my hubby and kitties are clamoring for my attention … so I’ll just stop here and give you my unsolicited advice: if you’re looking for the best exercise, take a hike. Yes, even if it’s raining!

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