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106.1 The River

What Are You Waiting For?  Get Out There and Enjoy!
By Cindi Alpert

My family and I recently took a road trip to Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk, North Carolina to get in a day of skiing before the season ends. Although it was a little chilly and the snow blowers were working overtime, we had an absolute blast. I took in some great scenery, worked on my form, got awesome photos of the family, enjoyed a nice lunch, and without really noticing it, I burned about 1000 calories. Between lugging all my gear and some of my daughter’s stuff, getting dressed, shuffling to the lift a dozen times, skiing a combination of blues, blacks, and scenic greens, I got in a full body workout. The following day, I could feel that good tightness all through my core and quads.

After an unusually warm, yet soggy East Tennessee winter, I was reminded how much I enjoy being outdoors doing what I love. We are so fortunate to live in an area that has so much to offer. Our winters are short and there are so many things to see and do. Within an hour we can be in the mountains and enjoy some of the prettiest views around. There are numerous walking and bike paths all throughout the area, gorgeous lakes and rivers all over the region, and we’re just a day’s drive from the ocean. The reality is… we have all this beauty at our disposal. All we need to do is get off the couch and get out and enjoy it.

Studies show that if you do something you enjoy for exercise, the likelihood you’ll stick with it is a lot higher. When I can’t make it to the gym, I like to walk the dogs. My challenge was that two out of the three dogs couldn’t keep up. I used to use that as an excuse for only walking around the block or not even leaving the cul-de-sac.

Recently, a very sweet lady I met in a pet store gave me her doggie stroller she no longer had any use for. Since then, my two Chihuahuas and my Yorkie have been enjoying the great outdoors a lot more. Now we can go for miles. I can even rollerblade or jog behind the stroller. I just load them in and go and they LOVE it. When one gets tired, I just scoop her up and keep on going.

Of course, I had to post the photos on Facebook because they look so darn cute. My friends and co-workers think I’m nuts. Just the other day, Bruce Patrick, who hosts the morning show on our radio station 106.1 The River, said, “Oh Cindi, you’re not becoming one of those crazy dog ladies, are you?” Too late Bruce. The point is that I’m getting outside, exercising, and enjoying every minute of it. My daughter often follows along on her scooter and even my husband joins us… as long as he doesn’t have to push the stroller.

Tony Gray, Vice President of Fitness of The Rush Fitness Complex, has this to say about the subject: Movement/exercise is cumulative, meaning that keeping active (walking, pacing, bending, lifting, hiking, etc.) and moving for 10 or 15 minutes at a time will add up over the course of a day, week, month, and even year. So many times we think “well, if I can’t go workout hard, I just won’t do anything.” New lifestyle research tells us the opposite. First, any movement or exercise is better than none, and secondly, an active person that keeps moving throughout the day can burn more total calories than someone who is inactive all day but “works out” for an hour. Now obviously I think the best answer is both… stay active in daily living and exercise vigorously.

Every little thing adds up: burning an extra 200 calories per day can result in losing 20 lbs. per year. CONSISTENCY is the key!

Here is an estimate on how many calories one can burn doing these activities:
Raking leaves/30 min: 150 Calories
Mowing lawn/30 min: 180 Calories
Gardening/30 min: 130 Calories
Washing car/30 min: 200 Calories
Walking dog/30 min: 150 Calories
Hiking/30 min: 200 Calories

I may look a little ridiculous pushing a dog stroller, but I’m onto something. If you get out and do what you enjoy, whether it’s gardening, skiing, hiking or hang gliding, you’ll reap the health benefits. If you’re like me, being healthy and doing what you love will make you a less stressed, more fit, happier person, no matter how silly you look.

I think the next outdoor adventure I’m going to try is stand-up paddle boarding. My friend Carolyn, who owns Flat Hollow Marina, is in her 60s and took up paddle boarding last year. In season, she never stops running to keep the business hopping, but the sparkle and serenity of Norris Lake calls her name at the end of the day, and off she goes on her paddle board into the sunset. I giggled to myself as Carolyn described her newfound sport to me and couldn’t help but think of what I would look like on the board. Just me, the sweet summer breeze, the warm sun on my face, and three little dogs in the cutest lifejackets ever cruising on the back. “Crazy Dog Lady”… you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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