Since I wrote about my rest and comfort routines, it only seemed fitting to write about the converse: my activity routines. Although I've never been sedentary, I didn't partake in organized sports in my youth. I danced for many years and marched in marching band in high school, but otherwise, I wasn't particularly accustomed to workouts or time at the gym. Now, as an adult, exercising as a routine is still a bit of a struggle for me. I've committed to pockets of discipline over the years, such as when I trained for a 10k and a half marathon, but nothing in terms of a gym routine has permanently stuck. All that said, I do try to sneak in a good bit of activity each week via other means.
- My job. As a nurse, I do a lot of walking (albeit, a lot of standing too) at work. It's not cardio, but on an average day I walk at least 3 miles, and on a busy day, I might walk 5 miles.
- Taking the stairs. I work on the fourth floor at work, and I take the stairs every day, up and down. Also, we live on the third floor of our apartment building, so that adds in a few more flights each day. As a rule, Nicholas and I generally opt for the stairs whenever possible, because why not?
- Sunday night walks with Nicholas around our neighborhood. Conversation and activity together are a perfect way to start the week.
- Yoga.* I try to do a session every day I'm not at work, and sometimes after work if I need to stretch before sleep. This is my favorite website for yoga videos.
- Running, occasionally. It can be tough for me to be motivated, and I usually only make it out once a week or so, but pretty scenery at a park or a trail motivates me.
- Hiking. I appreciate the lower impact of hiking, while still breathing fresh air and increasing my heart rate.
- Well-fitting, supportive running shoes. My current pair are Brooks and they're my favorite running shoes I've ever worn. It's worth every penny to get a pair that fits well and it suitable for the shape of your foot. For walks, runs, and sometimes even errands.
- Athletic sandals. Chacos are my favorite since they fit my feet well, but Teva has some good options too. A well-fitting, secure athletic sandal provides traction and is versatile enough for hikes with stream crossing. or to where while kayaking or tubing in the river, etc. I pretty much live in these in the summer.
- A yoga mat. Mine isn't fancy—I bought it at Walmart in college and it still works for me.
- My fitbit charge. It's not perfectly accurate, but it does get me off the couch on my days off, and it makes me more mindful of my sleep schedule.
- Hydroflask water bottles These are our favorite, since they don't give off a metallic taste, and they insulate and keep cold water ice cold for hours in a hot car. We have the 18oz and 32 oz wide-mouth bottles.
- Active clothing that I actually like. If it's cute and it fits me well, I'm more likely to wear it (and wear it for its intended use).
- My phone: for music when I run in boring places, and google, to find new, exciting trails that I want to explore, and where hiking or running can be a means for exploration.
*I avoid overly spiritual yoga sessions. Instead, I choose practices that focus on balance/rest/strength and I filter out any questionable spiritual parts with prayer.
**With gear, I keep things simple — it makes staying active more doable for me.
But my main encouragement (to you and myself): Grab a friend (or your dog, or your spouse), hop in the car, drive somewhere pretty, and get moving.
A few weeks ago, our little family of four made plans with my father- and sister-in-law for an early Saturday morning at the Lake. When we arrived in the eight o'clock hour, it was breezy, in the low seventies. At this particular beach and time of day, we had our pick of spots; only a few families were there before us. I chose a spot pretty close to the water and Coop dumped out his new beach toys out of his mesh bag and got busy building and digging. Soon enough, Nicholas, who had been parking the truck, and my SIL and FIL joined us.
Here we are, on the very cusp of July, and I've neglected to share about our garden. Nicholas and I had a plot at a community garden when we were engaged back in 2013, but we haven't had a vegetable garden since—until this year, that is. I wanted to share a bit about our garden this year: what we're growing, how we're growing it, and how it's going so far.
If you missed my last post, I shared about the passing of my beautiful mother-in-law. I don't want to continue on in a "business as usual" style, nor do I want to neglect to share about joyful things in our life. Again and again, I'm learning that grief and joy coexist in this life. And what a grace that is! Grief can highlight the joy, make it more precious in my eyes. And so, I wanted to share about a little day trip I took with my SIL, Katelyn, Cooper, and Finn back in mid-May, since it was a good thing, a sweet day spent with some of my very favorite people.