Move it!

I have been a gym junkie for the past 7 years. But for the last few months I completely lost interest and stopped going. Crazy, right? Am I going to get flabby, lazy and sick? Will I lose muscle and gain twenty pounds? It’s easy to panic.

The truth is that I love the Summer! And I can’t seem to motivate myself to be in a noisy, closed-in gym when there is so much warm, happy energy outside. And I am feeling great! Actually, I am feeling better than ever!

In the past I would get depressed if I didn’t make it to the gym every day. I would plan my daily schedule around an 11am cardio workout followed by a noon yoga class, which meant I would sit around all morning, doing nothing while I waited for that time to arrive. The more I obsessed I was with working out, the worse I felt and, ultimately, the more I dreaded the workout.

We all know that exercising is vital to maintaining good health. Movement is extremely important for your heart, lungs, bones, muscles, patience level, stamina—the list goes on and on. Exercise prevents cardiovascular and heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, it boosts our immune system, and keeps us feeling strong and lean. It also increases your energy level throughout the day and helps eliminate depression.

Everyone needs to exercise. But if you are like me and you don’t feel like being a gym rat right now, there are tons of ways to keep your butt moving!

Since I stopped going to the gym I am exercising MORE by starting physical activity earlier in the morning and by spending more time outdoors. My absolute favorite way to exercise is walking. I walk all over the city, all the time, all year long. There is always something to look at like the architecture of the new buildings vs. the old buildings, the parks, the shops, the fountains, the people. I will leave extra time in my schedule for walking as it is my most preferred mode of transportation. I walk to work and back as often as possible and that is more than four mile trek! After working however many hours indoors, it feels great to walk off the work day and to breath in the fresh air! And walking with a friend makes it even more fun! Walking is also fantastic after meals as it aids in digestion.

If walking isn’t enough for you, run or jog! I know it’s not for everyone but if you go early morning or at night when its not excruciatingly hot, it feels really fantastic. I see a lot of folks practicing tai chi outside. Maybe you like to swim or float around in the ocean? Did you know you burn calories by just bobbing around in the water? Jumping rope and rollerblading are great options. Spend time in the park throwing a frisbeeor a ball, or play soccer or volleyball. Ride a bike!!! My friend Osha has been riding her bike to and from work everyday for the past month and she is so excited about the changes she has already seen in her tummy and her arms. AND she’s feeling amazing overall. You go girl!

Maybe you love going to the gym, and by all means, don’t let me talk you out of it, I’m simply providing other options. The most important thing is finding something you LIKE to do! Besides the gym, and the few outdoor activities mentioned above, fitness classes are wonderful way to keep you motivated as the energy of the instructors and the other people in the class will certainly keep you moving! Try kickboxing, spinning, martial arts, yoga, pilates, fencing, etc.

Besides yoga being one of the best ways to connect your mind and body, it helps you appreciate everything you have in your life including the strength, time, patience and energy you have to practice yoga. Plus, you leave a yoga studio feeling so much more alive than when you came in. If you are in NYC, my friend Shayna teaches at Prana Power Yoga which is a hot yoga studio where you sweat your face off! Nothing feels better than getting rid of all those yucky toxins! If that’s too expensive, try Yoga to the People which is a donation based yoga studio.

More great NYC options. My friend Thad teaches Kung Fu which is a fun, empowering way to work out! AND he teaches Saturday classes in Central Park! Take tennis lessons. Swim at the 92nd St Y. Another one of my favorites. GO DANCING! Try belly dancing! A popular one with my lady friends: Pole Dancing! In Tucson, my sister is part of Tucson Roller Derby and besides how much it has changed her mind, body and soul, she gets such a hard workout and is constantly surrounded by strong, independent women. What’s better than that? In NYC, we have the Gotham City Roller Derby. Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Roller Derby is so awesome. you need to check it out!

The options are endless, the important thing is to step it up and do SOMETHING!

Exercising doesn’t have to be dreadful. And it doesn’t have to happen on a machine. Thirty minutes a day may be all you need! Maybe it’s just walking your dog a little bit longer or getting off the train or parking your car a bit farther away from your destination. TAKE THE STAIRS! Little changes like this go a very long way!

I understand why Colorado is the healthiest state. People want to be outdoors, playing. Remember when you were a little kid and you loved to play outside and you were exercising without even knowing it? Lets find that energy and enthusiasm again! Before we were introduced to video games and then to computers, we enjoyed outside activity. We need the sun (vitamin D!), we need the open air and we need to find the joy in being active again.
Trust me, your body will thank you.

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