I know there is a healthy crop of avid walkers/runners that just can't wait to pop up out of bed and get right out there to exercise....and then there are the crop of people that are just not quite as enthusiastic about the idea. In all honesty, for me I "fall" on either category depending on the day, my energy level, my mood and time constraints. I'm pretty sure there are few others in my category. Here are a 8 ways to s to add a little extra umph to your fall walk or run and have fun while your doing it.
1. Interval Sprints typically feel like they are your worst enemy, rather than your best friend. One way to make them a little more fun is to begin a jog to sprint or walk to jog pattern that coinsides with whatever scenery you are walking by. For example, If you are walking along a residential street sprint every other house or every 3 houses. You can do this with cars, blocks, mailboxes, to the tops of hills or anything else that seems fitting for a short intense interval goal. If you run with a partner you can alternate sprinting past each other. I pass you, you pass me. It can get pretty intense.
2. Hills may not be in your area, however I am encouraging you to take the route with more hills. I realize we don't all live in San Fransicso and that may mean you will have to drive to an area that has a few mini mountains, or at least what might feel like mini mountains at whatever level you are currently working at.
3. Increase your stride. Feel every muscle in your body stretching beyond its comfort zone as you extend your stride. Lift your trunk, (both of them), pull your core nice and tight and put your elbows in their place which is close by your sides and reach new limits. This will help you to use your full range of motions and work your muscles more effectively. Your speed will increase as a bonus without increasing the speed of your steps.
4. Branches and street signs are not exactly there for the taking, but high-five-ing a branch is not against the law. In fact, if you read The Secret Life of Plants, you will learn that they actually have quite a bit of sensory awareness. Some might go as far as saying they have feelings, so why not give that tree branch a high five. That will entail you jumping yes. If that doesn't get your lungs breathing in that fresh oxygen then you might have to find some taller trees.
5. Leaf stomping is the trick that will keep me going and going. It's just plain fun. Here is how you do it...leap from leaf to leaf , choosing the leaf that is borderline reachable for your legs length. I know what your thinking, "There will be people watching me, I don't want to look like an idiot". Don't worry there will be another group of people you'll be worried about watching you at the beach. Just do it.
6. Smile and talk to some dang people. Do you know you might just inspire someone to take their first walk around the block just by flashing them a smile on your trot? Did you know that it is our responsibility to inspire one another and encourage one another?
7. Go watch a race. If you have gotten this far and your still not interested in walking or think you "can't", I'd like you to find the nearest 5k, , 10k, half marathon, marathon anything and be a spectator for the day. You will be in complete awe at the range of the crowd participating. There are so many young and old, sick and healthy, handicapped and whole out there one step at a time. You can be too. I remember attending a race supporting my husband and friend and hearing Coach Andi ran her last portion of the marathon with a man fighting cancer. Incredible!
8. Look around and give thanks. Notice every creation in awe. Notice the landscapes, the changing leaves, the feeling of the chill wind, the smell of firewood. Heighten your senses. Maybe in your neighborhood it's different, maybe your life has more hardships than someone else at this point in time and life seems impossible. I assure you it's not. Our God is still good and our world is still full of wonder and blessings. It's easy to lose hope in humanity with the craziness of this world. No matter what, creation is still amazing and there is always something big or small to be thankful for.
Have an amazing Fall season and get out side! You can do more than you think you can!