Last year was a tough one as far as my health was concerned. I have been in pretty good shape in recent years, just because I made it a point to go surfing every once in a while. Having the beach right across the street made this a doable system. A wonderfully walkable city also forced me to get out and move around on a pretty regular basis.
But things changed after I moved out of my apartment a little over a year ago. I moved in with my wife into her house in the suburbs. It’s only a couple of miles away from my old place, but it’s a completely different world. Walking anywhere is not very practical – you need to take the car. And getting into the water is no longer a quick decision, but a scheduled event.
Married life is great, but with all my old routines out the window, some things fell through the cracks, and exercise was a big casualty.
For a while, I tried out several different “everyday” regimens – do something simple (and relatively easy) every day, like walking around the block or doing a seven-minute workout. This never worked very well for me.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change gears and added scheduled workouts into my calendar at specified times and days. Instead of expecting myself to do a little something everyday (but ending up skipping them more often than not), I made myself commit to doing something more strenuous several times a week.
So far, this system is working.
On Mondays, I go for a hike in the hills. On Thursdays and Saturdays, I get on the rowing machine for a half hour (or more). I’ll throw in a seven-minute workout every now and then to help round things out.
Hiking the Hills
Monday mornings, we head up to the Palos Verdes Hills and go for a hike. It usually lasts less than two hours, and we get in a nice workout. The view is a bonus:
This is from the top of a hill. That’s the PV peninsula at the top right. Barely visible in the back, to the left, is Catalina Island (only visible on clear days). The big blue thing in the middle is the Pacific Ocean.
I got a rowing machine because it helps keep my back in shape for when I get the time to drive out to the ocean for a swim or a paddle. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think this model is the same one Frank Underwood uses in House of Cards.
I tried out the more typical air-resistance models at the store, but this type is just more pleasant to use. The sound of water swishing around while you row is pretty relaxing.
Last year, I tried to barrel through a bunch of work thinking that I could just catch up on my exercise after I finished. This used to work for me, but that’s no longer the case.
Exercise is literally a priority now.