Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Countdown to TTC: Week 46

Color Run NYC 8-26-2012

Get Active, Have Fun

 Once I commit to a certain activity or behavior, I am pretty good at following through on it.  So taking the stairs more or drinking more water are doable as long as I am able to remember they are on my to-do list.  But something I don't really do well is add spontaneous healthy behaviors to my day.  Even if I have an opportunity, I won't spontaneously add extra walking or play outside with friends or go out dancing.  For me, health-related activities are a necessary chore that you have to plan for but that you wouldn't want to do for fun.  So my goal this week was to work on changing my perspective about being active and to move toward having a healthy lifestyle, rather than a set of specific healthy behaviors.    

Step one of this effort was to register for and participate in a Color Run.  These events are popping up all over the United States and are pitched as "The Happiest 5k on the Planet".  Participants register in advance to take part in a 5 kilometer walk/run and show up on race day with thousands of other people to travel on a single track.  People of all shapes, sizes, and ages come to take part (including many families with infants and small children).  Runners/walkers are released in small waves, and there are several stations set up along the track representing a single color.  At each station, participants are sprayed by enthusiastic volunteers with dyed corn starch that starts to cover their clothing and bodies in bursts of bright colors.  When you complete the race, you toss a final color packet that you received at the start of the race along with hundreds of other participants, creating a rainbow cloud (pictured above).  

I am usually the type of person who avoids such events when possible, but since I started counting down to trying to conceive I have been thinking about my goals a little differently.  Usually I pass because I don't like waking up early on the weekends, which is almost always mandatory for walks/runs, and also I worry that I will get too tired or sore by the end of the race and look foolish.  Now, though, I am thinking more long-term.  Why avoid something fun like the Color Run just in case I might get tired?  I should instead look at it as a challenge and a goal for self-improvement.  Plus, it could be fun and maybe I would even want to be one of those mommies out there in a future race pushing my baby in a stroller or one of the fit pregnant ladies strutting along with a prominent belly bump.  

The next step will be a bit more difficult, because there is no specific plan or list to follow.  I will just need to start saying yes more often to opportunities to get active. I don't want to make a rule to always say yes, because there are some things I don't like to do or that are beyond my current abilities.  But having a yes attitude will be a good start.  Also, keeping an eye open for opportunities I might otherwise miss is a good idea.  I see lots of information about free events in my community, but usually I skip right to the ones about food or theater/movies and don't even look at active ones.  Even though most of them might not be my thing (I loathe most organized sports, for example), I might find the occasional gem like the Color Run - within my ability level, active, fun.  

What about you?  Is routine exercise the only way you get active, or are you able to find ways to get moving that aren't part of your exercise schedule?  How do you have fun while staying or getting fit?  What are some calorie-burning activities that you actually enjoy?   

For more in this countdown series, see last week's challenge about Eating More Produce. 

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