Are you a Couch Potato or a Fitness Fanatic? If you’re like most of us, you’re a little bit of both, depending on the time of year or the mood you’re in. They say that doing as little as 30 minutes a day of exercise will create huge positive changes in your health and life expectancy. And it doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous…just a simple walk around the block will do wonders. At Nina Designs, we have a free weekly yoga class, open to all of the staff. We know that this form of exercise reduces stress, builds muscle and creates flexibility. And in our personal lives, we all like to find different ways to get out and enjoy nature. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to blow off steam, build strength and burn a few calories….
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I love to swim! It’s doesn’t matter if it’s in a pool, ocean, river or lake. Since I can’t go to the beach every day, I have gotten into a habit of lap swimming a few evenings a week. I am lucky to have an outdoor saline pool just a few minutes’ drive from my house. If I need to go somewhere to do my workout it needs to be super close and convenient to get to, otherwise I won’t go. When I swim it doesn’t really feel like exercise, it’s just fun! I also love the added bonus of getting a little bit of a tan while swimming. For me, swimming is super relaxing, refreshing and easy on the joints. I also really enjoy going to cycling classes. I have found the perfect class with a funny teacher and familiar faces every week. It’s a little bit harder to get motivated for this class because it is hard work! After the class I almost always feel great. My endorphin’s are going and I get a nice burst of energy for a few hours!
I love riding my bicycle to work! I am very grateful to have a short commute and riding my bike lets me roll past the traffic congestion on the city streets while getting the added benefit of fresh air and exercise! I enjoy walking and hiking as well but riding a bike allows me to travel further distances and reduces the impact on my body. I especially love that I am also helping the environment by using my bike to commute. There is a grocery store near work which further allows me to lesson my “carbon footprint.” I’ve gotten into the habit of stopping there every couple of days. I prefer this method over making one huge trip to the grocery store with my car. It has the extra benefit of assuring that I always have the freshest fruit, vegetables and meat. The Bay Area has many great bicycle trails. I especially enjoy the Bay Trial because it is flat, making it easy to ride, and it has a gorgeous view! For a more rigorous, challenging ride, I go to Tilden Park. It is fantastic because you quickly feel like you are deep in nature, away from the city.
I live in the Oakland Hills and my favorite form of exercise is walking. It is something I can easily do to help maintain my health and my two dogs love it too! I like that I can adjust the level of difficulty by either choosing hilly or flat areas in my neighborhood or by simply altering my speed. I’ve tried gym memberships and never used them in the past. Walking is something that only requires good shoes and a little spare time. I don’t have to care about how I look or if someone needs the machine or whether or not a class fits into my schedule. It’s the most user friendly exercise I know of and the only one I am able to stick to! I also find it very meditative. I love to observe the plants and seasonal changes in my neighborhood or enjoy a deeper conversation with a fellow walker when one cares to join me. Some of my favorite trails to walk are at Redwood Park and the “off leash dog area” near Skyline Boulevard. Point Isabelle is a must for dog lovers! The view of the Bay is incredible, the walking trails are well-groomed and maintained, and the pups love to get their wiggle on!
So how about you?
What gets you off the couch and puts a spring in your step?
We would love to hear what motivates you to go for the gold!
Please leave your comments below!