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Exploring Everyday Exercise Opportunities

May 19, 2009

By Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN, ACSM
Your Personal Trainer

On your way from where you are to where you are going, have you stopped to explore opportunities to be more active and get in some exercise along the way?  As the spring sun entices us back outdoors more regularly, a trip to the park or playground with your children can present you with some activities of your own.  Make your own Par course, or “park course” using stair runs.  Race around the lawn with your child or see who does better on the monkey bars!  Do stand-ups from a park bench holding your child—great for your quadriceps and gluteus muscles, good for your balance and core stability and all the while providing great fun for your passenger!

City parks abound in Oregon.  If you’re as lucky as I am, there’s one within walking distance of your own backyard.  Take time to explore what’s near you.  You can do it the old fashioned way with a pencil, a ruler and a map, or you can Google your neighborhood and discover what opportunities lie within a mile, two-mile or five-mile radius of your house.  On a recent trip to Virginia, I ran from my son’s house out and back for a distance of six-miles.  Along the way, I discovered a school with a track and some stairs that afforded a great alternative cardiovascular work-out.  On the way back, I found a park with benches and some swings.  Have you stopped to go up in a swing lately?  What a great way to take a break and feel that familiar childhood joy of going higher and higher as your legs give you lift.

Today, I ran the annual Lake Run in Lake Oswego, a formidable foot race indeed and well worth the effort.  The start is less than a five-minute jog from my house.  The day was glorious and the scenery was awesome, the kind that makes Oregon the most beautiful place in the world when the sun shines.  It makes you want to just stop, look and pinch yourself and ask if this place is real!  Go out and explore it for yourself.  Find what you like to do along the way from here to wherever you’re going.  Take a stroll, take a stroller.  Take a hike, take a bike.  It’s there for the taking.  Explore your backyard.  Explore your world.

Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

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Discuss this article

Kay May 19, 2009

Can’t agree with you more. The pleasure of running in glorious sunshine in a state that surrounds you with beauty doesn’t even make it work. Thanks for reminding us.

Donna May 19, 2009

Your article makes me want to dig out my worn out running shoes and head to the park. Is is okay to run in worn out shoes?

Olivia May 19, 2009

Donna, no, it’s not okay nor is it a good idea to run in worn out shoes. They can be recycled at running stores like Foot Traffic. Runnning in worn out shoes can lead to injury, so go out and treat yourself to a new pair that is right for you. Get a new spring running outfit while you’re at it. I hear that yellow is a hot color this year and it’s always a happy color!!! Have fun.

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