Monday, October 20, 2008

These Boots Are Made For....

So.... exercise.

Unlike my co-blogger, I'm not someone who has ever really enjoyed exercise. I know that there are countless benefits, and when I do force myself to do it I feel better both physically and emotionally. But, I am someone who really has to force herself to do it. So be it.

(Although T's brand of exercise kinda sounds fun -- I've never really learned how to play tennis, and I was never on any sports teams cuz Mom didn't want to have to do a lot of driving us around as kids, so exercise has *never* been something social for me. Maybe if it was I'd be more inclined. Any suggestions?)

Anyway -- for now, exercise is a pretty solitary thing for me. I've got a gym in my building with the usual cardio machines and some Nautilus-style stuff, and I'll make my way down there eventually. But while the weather holds up - and this weekend was perfect - my favorite kind of exercise is just taking long walks around this fair city of mine.

For starters, since I don't own a car my daily commute does involve about 30 minutes of walking each day. As long as I don't have a night event (see below - 2x a week lately!), I'm game for my walking commute both in the morning and at night.

On Saturday, I did the 3-mile Memory Walk, and it felt great to be walking in the gorgeous fall sunshine around the National Mall. It was a good reminder for me of just how much I do like taking long walks - and while I'm not fast by any means, I have pretty good endurance and can keep at it for a while.

At my old place, I was roughly 3 miles from downtown DC and I tried to make it a habit of at least once a month walking downtown to see a movie or something. Since I now live much further north, I need to be creative in coming up with new neighborhood routes that I enjoy.

Last week, I conducted a successful experiment in getting off the Metro one stop early and just walking the difference home. That adds a nice little 15 minutes or so of brisk walking, and I clocked it today at just under a mile. Again, as long as I'm leaving working at a decent hour and the weather's okay, I could see myself doing that little extra a couple times a week.

The other thing that's motivating me to spend more time walking may not seem connected, but it's a pretty powerful factor. Since I splurged and bought myself a bigger iPod a few months ago, I now have the capacity to download a whole bunch of my favorite podcasts and keep up on all kinds of politics, culture and current events. Hooray! But what I've been finding is that those podcasts pile up... I tend to listen to them on my commute, but there's never enough time to listen to all of them. (Damn you, daily Fresh Air!). So... my thinking is that the more I walk, the more I'll stay caught up on my podcasts. They won't be clogging up my nano, I'll be even better informed about the state of the world, and my feet will keep on moving while I'm at it!

And - oh yeah - since my usual nighttime / weekend activity involves hours spent in front of the computer while speeding through Netflix, I need to also force myself off the couch to do some stuff in front of the tv. As long as I'm watching, I might as well do some free weight exercises or various abs or aerobics routines I've collected along the way. Feel free to yell at me at least once a night, "Get up off the couch!"

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