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Walk It Off

For me, special occasions are always a good reason to make improvements to my appearance.  Usually, during a holiday or someone’s birthday, I get the chance to meet new people and become reacquianted with old friends and family, and frankly, I want to look as though I’ve improved since my last visit, or at least as though I haven’t declined.  I’ll usually use holidays as reminder to do my hair, buy some new clothes, and workout.  I don’t think it’s shallow to take pride in your appearance and I always appreciate it when people make an effort to look nice when they visit me.  Everyone has something beautiful about them and when that is emphasized, it boosts confidence and spreads happiness.

Weddings, however, are a different ballpark, especially when it’s your own.  It’s extremely important for brides and grooms to feel very attractive on their big days, not only to provide eachother with a beautiful mental snapshot of the moment you professed your love and commitment to eachother, but also because all eyes are on you.  I already purchased my dress in the size I am right now, but I would still like to look healthy and toned on my wedding day.   Though I do not exercise regularly by conventional standards (i.e. I don’t go to the gym or scheduled runs), I do take small steps to get moving, like I take the bus (which involves at least 20 minutes of extra walking) or ride my bike to work at least three times a week.  I have an 11-month-old son, and I take him to the park, the pool, and for walks in his stroller.  Also, I just formed my first organized sports team with my friends and coworkers.  We are all involved in a weekly kickball league through Playground Sports in Eugene.  It’s childhood fun and exercise at it’s finest.

I’ve never been able to stick with a regimented schedule of exercise.  I get bored in gyms and classes, and I prefer being outdoors.  (As a side note, exercising outdoors gets you tan as well as fit, so you can skip the cost of a tanning booth or self-tanner if having golden skin on your wedding day is important to you.  Plus, who can deny that a natural tan looks the best.  However, wear sunscreen.  Tans are hot, burns are not.)  My approach is to constantly seek new ways to get exercise.  I bought a book of hiking trails in western Oregon at a book sale for $2, and it’s already taken John and I to magical places tucked away in the wild forests of Oregon.  Though we didn’t make any sort plan for regular hiking, we’ve already been doing hikes weekly because they’ve been so much fun.  I have a baby carrier, which adds an additional 25 lbs to my hike, providing me with more of a physical impact for moderate hikes.

For a while, I was really into Groupons before I realized that the desire to save money on dinners and activities actually just made me buy more Groupons than I could afford.  I unsubscribed, but not before purchasing one exciting Group0n for the Dirty Dash at the Howard Buford Recreation Area at Mt. Pisqua in Eugene coming up in late-July.  It’s a 4-mile mud run filled with fun obstacles, including a beer (or root beer) chug.  It’s regularly $45/ticket, but my groupon allowed me to buy two passes for $36!  My excitement for this is immeasurable!

The point to all of my ramblings is there are a lot of ways to stay fit, particularly if you keep your eyes open for upcoming events.  You don’t have to bore yourself to tears on the treadmill, unless of course you like the gym.  Between kickball and mud runs, not only am I getting exercise but my life is full of fun activities and I’m making good memories with John and our friends.  However, I do feel like I want to amp up my exercising as part of a goal to be fit by September, so being the online peruser that I am, I came across a DIY workout that I can easily do during my lunch break or in the evening:

http://fitbie.msn.com/get-fit/bye-bye-belly-fat

This particular workout applies to an area of my body that I would like to work on, my abs, but there are endless workouts online that focus on every area of the body.  And, it’s free advice, except without the encouragement of a personal trainer, you’ll have to Do-It-Yourself if you want results!  Go enjoy that beautiful May weather!

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