Make It Fun

Well, despite my assertions yesterday I pretty solidly failed at meeting my calorie budget. You win some, you lose some. But that’s not what I’m writing about. Instead, I’m going to write about having some company when I went to work out.

See, I didn’t get up to work out this morning because I was feeling lazy. Instead, I went after dinner. As I was getting ready, I asked my son if he wanted to come with me or stay and watch television. And, to be honest, I thought he’d stay. Instead, he enthusiastically said he wanted to go.

So, he went. And he took my tablet, so I figured he’d chill out and play video games while I exercised.

That’s not what he did.

While I went through my workout, he tried the elliptical out. Then he got in the treadmill, after I showed him how th start it and clip the emergency off cord to his shirt.m, and tried seeing how fast he could go. Then he was back to the elliptical, and back to the treadmill, then video games and treadmill and elliptical again. And all the time chatting with me and with the lady using the reclining bike.

He had a blast.

So did I. And it reminded need me of something: exercise really should be fun. So often, I treat it like a chore. Like something I have to do, and get through, and that is necessary but that I don’t really want to do. But my favorite exercises, the ones I could do for hours, aren’t like that. I walk because it’s gorgeous outside and I enjoy exploring my neighborhood. I practice contact staff flow arts because it lets me pretend to be a Jedi Knight. I swear m because I love being in the water and playing with my son.

Heck, with my son there, even the weights felt fun.

So, that’s what I (re)learned thanks to a seven-year-old who wanted to hang out with his dad and play on the cool exercise toys. Make it fun.

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The Sugar-Laden Aftermath Is Prelude

Trick or treating was a blast! My son teamed up with s group of kids around his own age, which led to me escorting two 6-year-old boys as they sprinted from house to house (and occasionally applying the brakes so that everyone could catch up). I didn’t think to set my FitBit to track just that portion, but I know we must have walked at least two miles. Maybe more. Because I was at about 5.5 miles when we started and I wrapped up at 7.72, and I don’t think the post-trick or treat stag-spinning I did skewed my results that’s much.

So, yeah. Good time.

And now it’s November and the inexorable slide into the most calorie dense month of the American calendar -Thanksgiving to New Years Day. A time full of complex carbohydrates and desserts and opportunities to snack. Also, the period of time in which I’ll be trying to get my calorie budget back on track after kicking it to the curb while studying. I’ll need to do some strategizing, and I’ll need to try and figure out a substitute for some of the calorie dense…

Calorie dense…

Right, right, who am I kidding? I’ll be better off coming up with a strategy now, and sticking with it. And with getting back to regular exercise to complement the walking.

This can be done. I just need to be smart about it.

It’s Halloween!

Ah, Halloween – historically, my second most favorite holiday. And if we could move the gift-giving and tree-decoration to Halloween, it would bump up to all-time favorite. Imagine singing Halloween carols for all of October, and decorating a Halloween tree, and hanging witch hats for Jack Skellington to fill on Halloween Eve, and…

And, well, I digress.

The point is, I love Halloween. And I’m pretty sure I’ll help me get in all my walking today. My son is old enough that he’s starting to plan for the long haul. His costume has a backpack, and he’s planning on filling it up and his truck or treat pumpkin as well. And so nice he’s only 7, he’s not going alone. I figure I’ll be walking all over creation tonight. Or, at least, all over a neighborhood or two.

I am so looking forward to this!

Zoo Walking

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous so, as I mentioned on Friday, we took my son to the Cincinnati Zoo to celebrate his 7th birthday. And it was great! He and his cousin ran all over – partly because of the “HallZOOween” event – and probably would have kept going if we didn’t have to drag them out because the zoo was closing.

For me, the best part was getting to pet a monitor lizard that one of the zookeepers was walking on a leash.

For my son, the best part was the alligators. They were what he wanted to see from the moment he woke up.

Oh, and the penguins at the Wings of the World exhibit. Once we found them, I think I could have left both boys there all day.

They were exhausted once we got to the car, mind. The boys, I mean. Not the penguins. But there were no more animals or candy at that point.

How far did we walk? 6.26 miles by my FitBit. Most of it at the Zoo, some of it at the park we went to after dinner because the two boys had rested up and wanted to play! I suspect they did more than that, simply because of the extra running. Then we ate cake and ice cream and watched cartoons, then went to bed. It was a long day.

I Really Can’t Wait For Monday

You don’t see that particular sentence written with any frequency, do you? People, as a general rule, hate Mondays – mostly because it’s the traditional first day of the work week, and it is a ritual to hate on your job and having to get back to it.

I try not to join in. I happen to like my job. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I’m really looking forward to Monday. Why? Because, after two weeks of inactivity, I’ll (finally) be getting back to my morning walk! I’ve really missed it, despite how insane it sounds to go for a 1.5 To 2 mike walk at 3 am. It starts my day off right, and I just feel better for having done it.

Of course, I also feel better for having taken the time to rest up and recover from being sick. So I’m not angry at myself or anything like that. I’m just eager to get back to exercising.

Speaking of exercising, I had a sort of “aaawww” moment with my son last night. We’re eating dinner (out, thanks to the chicken having taken a funny turn), and he puts down his taco and looks at me. “Dad,” he asks, “when you go exercise on the weekend, can I go too?”

“Sure,” I say, smiling. “How come.”

“Because I want to get more exercise. I want to be like you, daddy.”

How can you say no to that? But it was also a reminder that he’s watching what I do. So, I need to remember to stress that all of this work is about health, not just weight loss.

Vacation: Day One

Well, I’m on track to hit my walking goal today. And I’m getting to do it with my son!

I got up this morning around 7:30, and got ready to go walking. He was already up, sitting on the couch and playing Minecraft. So I invited him to go with me. He said no, then thought about it and decided he wanted to go after all. So we hit the road – me, my son, and my crazy dog. And we covered 2 1/3 miles, walking and talking and looking at flowers and playing Pokémon Go.

It took an hour and a half. I could have done it faster if I’d gone by myself, but why would I have wanted to? It was a perfect opportunity to spend time with him and set an example for him, without getting all preachy.

Alternative Forms Of Exercise

Yesterday, I didn’t get in the six exercises recommended by my personal trainer.  I probably should have.  But, instead, I went to the pool with my son.  And I believe that I’ve remarked that 40 minutes in a pool with a rambunctious 6-year-old is plenty of exercise.  If I haven’t, then let me do so now.  It is exercise.  Plenty of exercise.

This time, the name of the game wasn’t “spinning”.  No, it was shotput.  Here’s how it works.  There’s a floating air mattress sort of thing at our pool that nobody seems to have laid claim to.  As a result, everyone uses it.  Well, the game was that I pick my son up and throw him as far as I can to land on the air mattress thing.  He howls with laughter, swims back to me, and insists that I do it again.

He weighs around 60 pounds.  To toss him, I have to lift him out of the water, and I’m standing shoulder-deep in the water while we’re doing this.  Then, I lob him some three or four feet.

Yeah.  Exercise.  Also, fun.

We also raced.  Which you’d think wouldn’t be a fair match, and it isn’t.  He’s lighter and in better shape, so I have to work to outdistance him.  Especially since he’ll usually have a four or five foot lead on me by the time he shouts “go” when the race starts.

All in all, I had a good time.