Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Fitness Feature - Oh, The Places You'll Go!

My husband has a different fitness philosophy than I do. He couldn't care less about working out in order to look good - he says that's not what it's all about. He's probably right, but I'm (wo)man enough to admit that looking decent in what I'm wearing makes up about 30 50% of my health and fitness goals. His main concern is all about what he's able to actually DO.

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He wants to be able to just pick up whenever he wants and go hiking in the mountains, or rafting down a river, or biking down a mountain. All of which we did last week. (Wow, was it really only last week?!) He also likes to mop the floor with the younger guys on the paintball field. I think that probably accounts for a good 75% of his motivation - not looking like the "old man" around the college-age kids out there.

After our big vacation, I'm starting to see his point. Everything that we were able to do and enjoy would have been made more difficult, if not impossible, had we not been exercising regularly. The hiking took some serious stamina and cardiovascular fitness. Even though we weren't exactly sprinting through the woods, the constant pushing onward and upward and the higher elevations were tiring on the lungs and heart. The running I've done was definitely helpful, since my legs were already conditioned for keeping me moving for hours at a time.

The rafting trip required a surprising amount of physical exertion. I was really shocked at how sore my core muscles were after the morning trip down the river, but I guess it makes sense when you think about needing to keep your abdominal and back muscles engaged nearly 100% of the time just to remain upright in the boat. Add in the bending and leaning for the paddle strokes, and you've got yourself an ab workout that would even make Tony Horton (P90X creator and exercise guru) proud. Each paddle was a crunch.

Even when we weren't actively seeking adventure and excitement (Wow, I can't even type that without thinking to myself "Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things."), we were constantly on the move. We covered miles every evening, walking through Vail and Lionsgate. Sure, maybe some of those miles were treks to the gelato shop or to the bar, but hey, after days full of activity, we deserved it. All the more reason to indulge in a variety of local beers and handmade sweets - carbohydrates for recovery :)

The whole time, I just thought about how lucky we were that we were able to take a mini vacation at all, but, moreso, how lucky we were that we were actually able to enjoy it in the form of some amazing physical activities. Had we been out of shape, I'm sure the trip wouldn't have been nearly as fantastic.

How else would I have been able to take in such magnificent views?

Well, I guess I could have just rode hopped in the gondola, but that wouldn't have been as rewarding, now, would it?


  1. good point - I do recall that the steps at home were easier after many days of hiking hills and valleys.  Also, once I took my older sister sight seeing in Chicago.  She had a tough time just strolling along the lake front.
    I'm certainly NO exercise proponent but some prep work for hiking or even lengthy sight seeing trips pays off.  Not surprisingly she likes cruises.  

  2.  There are many tools that can enhance your core workout. The Exercise Ball, Reebok Core Board, and the Bosu Ball are all great tools that can challenge your coordination and balance. When you exercise on less stable surfaces, your core muscles work even harder to stabilize your body.