The best thing we can do for our hearts is not to buy a box of chocolates - which I love as much as the next person (my Valentine gave me Christopher Elbow chocolates! He knows me well). The best thing we can do for our hearts every day is exercise.
I haven't written much about exercise here lately. The sad reason is that I just have not been prioritizing exercise in my life. I have a million excuses, trust me. But they really are only excuses. I resolve to do better. I'm putting it in writing here on the internet where it will live forever.
Since moving from our old house to the downtown loft, I lost a few of my best approaches to getting exercise. First, we moved away from the awesome Brookside trolley trail and great neighborhoods for running. I miss my old routes! And I miss being able to go out the door in the morning, even in the dark. I just don't feel safe doing that downtown and thus my morning running is nonexistent these days. And leaving exercise to later in the day is just not a good strategy for me - too many things come up and interfere.
Another thing I miss about living in our old neighborhood, was my ability to run and pick up the kids from daycare with the jogging stroller. This was a great way for me to fit in a 3-4 mile run, only half of which was pushing the full load with the kids. Even if I just did this once or twice a week, it was easy and convenient for all of us. Now that is one to two runs a week that I am not fitting in.
I could bemoan the lack of these exercise options (which I sometimes do) or I could figure out some new ones. And in the interest of my health and happiness - I choose the latter. Here goes!
Loft Living Exercise Options:
1. Climb some stairs. There are seven flights of stairs in our building ready and waiting to be utilized. No one ever takes the stairs in our building so they are vacant and quiet. I take the stairs two at a time going up, and jog down. In just 20 minutes I am sweating and my quads are burning. If I do this a couple days a week, I might get some strength back in these restless legs.
2. Hit the treadmill. Our building has a gym free for anyone to use. See? I told you I had only lame excuses for not getting exercise. The truth is I hate the treadmill and it is very hard for me to make use of this option. But it is convenient and Ryan and I have both made use of the gym in the 6 months we've been in the building (6 months!). On the occasional sick day, we've taken a kid down there with us when the room is empty, which only sort of works - they get bored quickly. But I need to just put on some music and get on the dang thing. No excuses.
3. Play like a toddler. This last option is actually a lot of fun. If I just followed in Charlie's footsteps all day, I would get plenty of exercise. In our stir crazy days this winter, we've discovered the wide open and long hallways in our building's basement. We set up a soccer goal at one end of the hall and everyone gets their exercise. Interval training at its best!
If I do each of these options just once per week, I will be well on my way. Apparently, even a few exercise sessions a week are better than none. So, no excuses, have a happy (and healthy) heart!
I'm always looking for more suggestions - what tricks do you use (or could you use) to squeeze in a few more minutes for exercise?