Due to this increase in my scheduling density, I was forced to buckle and break my efforts to not eat like a feral dog on the streets of New Delhi. I went to the McDonald’s drive-thru and as I sheepishly ordered my decrease in life span, I felt super defeated. I have been so busy that cooking and preparing meals for myself has been pushed back on the priority list. HOWEVER, the part that matters is that even though I felt defeated, I didn’t throw in the towel and I am back on my mission. Fast food only once in over a month for me is a big deal, so I am pretty pumped on that.
But let’s talk about what I actually want to talk about now; exercise and physical activity.
If you are like me, you hate the gym. You hate the smell of the gym, and it’s not the smell of sweat or body odor, but the smell of that weird padded floor. You hate the implied politics and whether you go to Planet Fitness or not, there is always judgement and side eye. I am always at the ready for some sort of gym brawl to break out over who has the most defined calf muscle.
Fortunately, we live in a place that we have access to an unlimited amount of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, most of those are only available 4 months a year. Good thing it looks like this year we will have a couple extra months, so hooray for that. Thanks to this, forget the gym and get outside.
I joined the rest of Team Made In Utica to hit the Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest last weekend at MKJ Farms in Deansboro. That 5K gave me enough cardio that it likely surpassed any type of gym workouts I could have done in a week. I had a much better time, I was outside in the sun, and there was a bunch of Saranac waiting for me at the end. Win, Win, Win. I had a few spare minutes last week and popped down to Proctor Park with Justin and Sam and played some soccer. Half an hour of casually kicking the ball around was far more enjoyable than watching the huge dudes in the corner congratulate each other on being huge.
I highly suggest if you don’t want to or can’t get to the gym, just get outside and do some sort of activity. Even just walking burns lots of calories and can be a great way to breathe in fresh air rather than whatever happens to be floating around the gym. Hiking, biking, walking, running, stretching(yes stretching is a great physical activity to help lean out muscle), literally anything that involves moving and getting your heart rate elevated.
At this point you may be saying “Mark, I work all day, have kids, I am allergic to everything, I only own suits, so how can I get outside and get some exercise?” Funny you ask, I have an option for that also, because for a long time I didn’t want to do anything outside either because I was working 12 hours a day and all I wanted to do after work was sit on the couch and watch The Office for the 136th time. Fun fact: at this point in my life I was over weight, had zero energy, and felt like shit all the time. HOWEVER, I figured “OK, I am sitting here doing nothing, why not sit on the floor and try to stretch out so I don’t feel so damn bloated and uncomfortable?”
So I did.
And I felt better. And I kept doing it. And I felt better. Then I threw some pushups in there. That made my heart feel like it was going to explode, but then got easier. Then some crunches, and planks, and other zero impact, low movement type things. And all of a sudden I felt a lot better, I lost weight, and wanted to be outside more often. Funny how that works.
So while you are enjoying the 30 minutes you may get to yourself to chill a day, why not be dual purpose? I heard from a brilliant mind once “Just gotta fit it in when you have the time Brian, that’s the key.” That great mind was Stewie Griffin, and it is brilliant. If you have 10 minutes, you can do a lot of stretching or pushups or yoga or whatever. Fit it in when you have the time, Brian. I hope one of you is named Brian, or at least Bryan.
To be honest, my hands are absolutely killing me from the Mud Fest, and also running with a death grip on my camera, so typing is making my fingers hurt, but I can’t say it too loud because Ben Stiller is going to put me on landscape duty and my back is going to hurt. Well newsflash Ben, my back always hurts.
Next time I want to talk about something that is a sensitive topic to most, but it is something that gets not nearly enough play in the general dialogue of our society, and that is Mental Health and Well Being. I have struggled with this through my whole life and I have noticed, being Over 30, that my mentality is shifting; sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.
Until next time, get off your ass and do something.