I’m a hiker. I love to walk, climbing thru the woods, regardless of season. Well, that’s true most of the time. I struggle in the steaming heat of summer. I step outside the door and feel smacked in the face with a wall of humidity and heat. So… it’s tough for me to motivate myself to get moving.
There’s stress to be blown off and activity needed for good health regardless of season. So, today I blew up the tires on my bike, then headed out for the bike trail. Guess what? When you are riding the bike, it feels like you’re making a bit of breeze and the heat was quite manageable.
So… is a new habit born here? My habit to keep myself fit, low-stress and happy has been in place but I hit a stumbling block- sweltering summer heat. How to best care for myself in this situation? I chose to ride the bike. You might choose something else. This isn’t a commercial for cycling, it’s a reminder that taking care of yourself requires action. Which action you choose to maintain and increase wellness in your life is a personal choice.
“It’s too hot” or “It’s too cold” and yes, there’s the ever popular “I’m too busy,” all phrases we use to dismiss making time for ourselves to get moving. When you were a kid, likely it was never too hot or too cold to go out and play. Maybe you were the child who had a gang of others to hang out with. You might have been like me, perfectly happy to play alone. The key word here is play. You got moving, you got outside to play.
What made you play in the summer when you were younger? Maybe it was the call of water and time at the pool or playing in the sprinkler. Perhaps you too, loved flying down the lane on your bicycle. Climbing trees, rowing boats, taking hikes? Sit still for a minute, take a deep breath, close your eyes and remember what summer activity brought you joy.
As an adult, you have the power to do these things again, or age-appropriate similar fun. If playing in the water was your thing, I don’t care if you have gained weight. Find some clothing that loves to go in the water and find a place to swim. (Ladies, in particular, if your girth has increased and you think you can’t don swimwear, you’re wrong. Swimwear has changed. Today there are t-shirts, tunics, shorts, skirts and leggings, all designed to help you feel comfortable and even a bit stylish on the beach.)
Get a bike, maybe a trike, maybe a tandem or a two seater recumbent bike for you and your honey’s aching back. (just ask Google, you’ll be surprised at the options.) Invest in some good walking shoes, a pack for your water and a nice sun hat and go take a stroll. You might not be up for climbing trees anymore but a walk through the park is certainly fun too. (Hint, swings are still fun, regardless of age.)
If the great outdoors just isn’t calling to you, check out the local fitness center, yoga studio, martial arts group or maybe consider dancing lessons. Did you know you can do yoga in a chair? There are groups of people of all ages gathering in parks all over the world to enjoy the gentle movement of Qigong and TaiChi. Take a look at your local community calendar, the bulletin board at the library or of course, you can always ask Alexa.
So today was my day to get back to riding. I chose a nearby bike/hiking trail to avoid the traffic concerns. It was fun. Quite fun, in fact. Covering ground much more quickly than walking and that nice summer breeze in my face…. winner!
So… whether you choose water or wheels, walking or qigong, get moving this summer. Our bodies were made to move to be calm, healthy and happy. Even with your physical challenges, there are fun options out there for all of us.