At this time of year I spend a lot of time reflecting on all that has happened in the past year. Life got a little busy this year with adopting a new dog, nurturing a growing relationship with Alan, and spending time and money on house projects. All of that has left me feeling like I've neglected getting outside and exploring nature this year. The lack of hiking and walking has left me with a few extra pounds that I didn't have last year, so my health and wellness has suffered a bit with all this busy-ness too.
|Not letting hunting season stop us from hiking... sporting our blaze orange!|
A few weeks back, I mentioned how I just started up again with our weeknight walks around the neighborhood. I had stopped doing these when we adopted Jake because it became too physically difficult for me to control both dogs by myself. Instead of doing the logical thing - walking them separately, I just stopped walking altogether.
That loss of exercise combined with a very hot and humid summer left me a few pounds heavier by this fall. I was surprised to see the scales tipping at close to 145 lbs. - almost 10 lbs gained in a year and a half.
I know that doesn't sound like much to some, but on my small 5'4" frame, it adds up. Maybe not visually so much, but physically I felt unhealthy. My knees started hurting again, my posture was terrible, my back/neck/shoulders were killing me.
And then the real kicker... I had to buy bigger pants. That was the last straw.
I swore after I lost all that weight back in 2015 that I would NEVER buy bigger pants again. So I made a commitment to myself that I would get back on a weeknight walking schedule with the dogs. Now I get even more exercise than before because I have to walk the dogs separately, which guarantees at least an hour and a half of walking each night.
It's been a month since we've been back on this schedule and I've already lost 3 lbs! I'm feeling so much better... my posture has improved, I'm motivated to lift weights and do crunches in my living room again and I have much more energy.
|We don't let a little snow stop us from hiking!|
I had forgotten how good exercise feels. And now that it's become a habit again, it's easier to stay on track. The LightHound harness is helping me stick with the walking program now that the evenings are dark. And a good pair of fleece-lined pants are keeping my legs warm enough to stay out for longer periods of time. Having the right outdoor hiking gear is important in making your outings enjoyable so you keep on track with a routine.
|Sugar-dusted trails sparkle in the sunlight.|
I started this blog to document my outdoor adventures with my dogs, inspire and motivate people to get outdoors with their dogs and to provide information and tips on dog-friendly outings. So even though I got off-track on my fitness and outdoor routine this year, I hope I'm still inspiring some of you to discover nature - in all seasons - and get some exercise with your dog. You need the fresh air and exercise as much as they do, so use them as your support group and get out there!
|My little kitchen/office assistant.|
Stay tuned for our winter outdoor adventures now that we're heading into the next season - we have a lot of fun things planned! We're making sure that the colder weather doesn't keep us from enjoying nature and getting exercise.
No more excuses!
|Jake begging for crumbs under the kitchen table, watching me eat.|