Walking has become MANY people's activity of choice since our shutdowns, and now that it's summer here the weather can really get in the way. My coach Racheal Cook described her "Thrive List" this week- it's a list of the the things you need in your life to really thrive, and in looking at mine I realized I really do feel better when I move.
At the same time, though, I wilt like a piece of spring mix in the heat, so I also made a list of workarounds to stop my objections before they start!
These are my goals for daily walking in a Philly summer:
- Stay cool
- Avoid the humidity
- Do as much as I can in as little time as possible (see #s 1 & 2)
- Skip crowded areas
This is totally possible. Totally. Sigh.
No really, it’ll be OK if we stick to a couple preparations and plans. Here’s what I'll do, in reverse order:
Skip Crowded Areas
First, go really early. Like, dawn. I’ve taken to sleeping with my curtains open so I wake up then anyway, and it really is a magical time. It’s cool and quiet, except for the birds- SO many birds! And then later, after I’ve gotten my day pretty much accomplished, and it’s the hot part of the afternoon and I start wilting (yes I have AC, doesn’t matter!) I can take a lovely nap, maybe even in the hammock. Perfect. .
Second, get off the path. My local park has lovely trails in the woods, and for whatever reason people just don’t use them as much. But there’s shade and it’s cool and I love trees, so the whole thing is a win for me.
Maximize My Effort
See getting off the path, above. Flat, even surfaces aren’t natural, and they aren’t challenging to our bodies. So by walking on mulch in the woods, and by climbing the grassy hill instead of taking the gravel path, and by hitting the playground equipment, I’m challenging all kinds of muscles from my toes to my neck, including the ones in my eyes that get too used to the distance between my nose and my computer screen, and even my balance.
Sometimes I”ll take my water shoes and walk up the creek too- now that’s hard work! Plus it feels awesome.
Avoid the Humidity
If you’re not familiar with the Mid-Atlantic area, you might not quite understand just how truly awful the phrase ‘hazy, hot, and humid’ is. Here, my answer is to revisit the idea of getting out really, really early. It’s also to make sure I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. Some days the dew point is just too high for me to be healthy out there, so I don’t. And that’s OK.
I have a few gallon glass jars (ask at a deli or restaurant if they have an empty glass pickle jar you can rescue) so I drop in 10-12 tea bags total, or 1-2 handfuls of loose herbs each. I fill it with hot water after dinner and put it in my back porch overnight (no sense heating my kitchen more!) Next 2-4 days, depending, I have a fabulous, tart, mineral-rich iced tea ready to sip all day long.
Now it’s your turn. What are your fair-weather goals? What are your tips to meet them?