On August 12 I will be checking out Viva Streets which is being put on by LiveWell Colorado. This is a program in its second year designed to build activity and community by closing down an entire city street to traffic. Residents are encouraged to get out walking or on their bikes to enjoy the car-free street. Like a giant block party for people all over Denver, this will be a unique experience in a beautiful neighborhood. The event will take place on 23rd street between City Park and Stapleton in the Park Hill neighborhood, and there will be a bike parade down 23rd starting at Kearney at 10am. This is a wonderful opportunity to get out with your family, and learn more about the easy ways you can get active and connected to your community. Check out the video from last year’s event below!
I’ve been feeling pretty encouraged lately by my activity level. Back in March I was out of shape and I knew it, now I feel like I’m getting back into a groove. For me that’s the hardest part about staying active. If I miss one day, then the next day follows, and pretty soon I’m not doing anything at all. But if I work to make sure I’m doing something every day, then missing a day just seems wrong. Lately I have been much better about getting out for a run or riding my bike to work every day, but there’s still the weekends where I am not consistent at all.
I can’t say that I’m not doing anything on the weekend, at least I am up and on my feet most of the day, but finding the time to get a workout in when I have family plans and chores to do is tough. After all, my kids only really get me to themselves those two days, for me to wave goodbye and then head out the door for a 4 hour bike ride seems irresponsible. Maybe when they are older and don’t really care if their dad is there I can get away with that, but at this age I can’t justify it.
I know I’m making excuses. There are some chores that don’t have to be done right away, I’m sure I could slip out for an hour to run. I could be getting out of bed at 5am to run long before everyone gets up. I could be making an effort to eat healthier meals on the weekend so that I don’t put such a big dent in my “fitness reserve.”
So I have some work to do, but I’m a lot further along than I was at the beginning of the year. And when the goal is maintaining daily activity for the rest of my life, slow progress is to be expected.
I’m ready to admit it; I’m out of shape.
I’m not “Biggest Loser” out of shape with hundreds of pounds to lose, I’m every-man out of shape. I’m carrying a few extra pounds around the middle, I sit at a desk all day, and while I can walk up stairs easily I usually choose not to. So I’m staging an intervention.
I’m committing to get back in to doing something active every day. It doesn’t have to be the most intense workout of my life, but it does have to take at least half an hour. I’m also making a commitment to bike commuting more often. Riding my bike to work keeps me healthy by doing something that I have to do already, it’s free exercise time! Running is part of the plan too. I can get a better cardio workout from a 30 minute run than I can from a 30 minute bike ride, and it’s weight bearing, working a different set of muscles than I would on the bike. Finally, pushups are in the mix. I can work in a set of pushups anywhere I happen to be, no gym required.
Seems so simple, yet I know how difficult it can be to stick to. I’ve fallen off the wagon for almost 6 months, and now look where I am. No one would ever tell me I look out of shape, but I know it’s true. I think we all know when we are not doing enough with our bodies, it’s just hard to figure out where to start. And it’s a long road, with no end in sight. Because “stay in shape” isn’t a goal, it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s not a 5k in September, or a charity ride in the spring. It’s getting out there every day without any other reason than it’s the right thing to do.
And doing the right thing is always hard.