25 January 2011

Who Needs a Gym?

Many years ago when we moved here from sunny, Southern California, one of my biggest concerns was staying fit through the winter months. I'm not a big fan of going to the gym or doing exercise videos at home. I'd rather be out walking or jogging.

I found that my fears were valid, as all four seasons here in Maine can be brutal if one is unprepared.

Springtime is loaded with black flies and mosquitoes, which will eat you alive if you try to walk so much as down the driveway without being covered head to toe wiht insect repellant. Take it from one who knows.

Summer is warm and humid, and many of the biting bugs are still quite active. Water sports are good, but walking or running can be wearying in the humidity.

Fall is actually the best time to be outdoors in Maine. It is generally cool, crisp and dry. In fact, I've often thought they ought to let kids out of school for the months of August and September, and maybe even October. Forget June and July.

Winter is, in a word, cold. Don't go out walking or running unless you've got layers and all your skin is covered. And wear boots.

Walking is my thing, so I've learned how to do it over the years, with minimal discomfort. Yet it is hard to get out and walk during the winter months, more because of the lack of light rather than the lack of warmth.

So today I had an unexpected day off. I wanted to go for a walk, but there were more pressing matters... we have another storm coming and our firewood supply is running low. So I spent just under an hour bringing stacks of wood from our outdoor woodpile into the garage.

It was lovely out there. A light snow was falling and there was no wind. The work went quickly and I was soon very warm. I realized I didn't need to go for a walk - I was walking back and forth constantly, plus lifting and stretching. Win!

As I neared the end of the job, I realized my legs felt a bit numb. I checked the thermometer and it read 4 above zero. I'd forgotten to do layers on my legs. A pair of jeans doesn't quite cut it in that temperature, exercise or not.

But it was good. Last week was the snow removal, this week the wood stacking, and it looks like more snow removal the day after tomorrow.

Who needs a gym?

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes


Connie said...

I'm tired reading your blog. I think I'll keep going to the gym, riding bike, walking and swimming where it is warm, but I do admire you Mainers, you are tough!

Lincoln Florist said...

I love the gym it's where I do most of my thinking planning and exercise. It doesn't beat being active outside but it sure helps

insurance quotes. said...

You are right, what was I thinking.I think I'll keep going to the gym, riding bike, walking and swimming where it is warm, but I do admire you Mainers, you are tough!