It happens every year. Once the warm weather hits, I get back to the game of strategizing to lose the 20 plus pounds that I’ve piled on over the years from childbearing and aging—okay, I’m only being honest. So usually my plan involves stepping up my physical activities and spending less time in front of the tube—no rocket science type breakthroughs here. At some point, my husband tells me—and this happens more than once during the summer—“I’m glad that you’re planning to stay healthy and all but please don’t lose the pounds everywhere…”
It’s no secret that some men, especially African men, appreciate some “meat on the bones” in all the right places. But listen sisters, we can’t pay too much attention to that if we want to win the weight gain struggle. So if you get such a request, just smile politely, throw a joke and poke his way and get right back to the business of stepping up your game before the “real” Minnesota weather kicks in again—and you know that it happens much too fast!
As always, before you start any physical activity, ensure that it’s healthy for you. Sometimes that means checking with your doctor before you start. If you’re like me and tend to get bored too quickly, here are some ideas to mix things up:
Walk – this is an easy one and it helps that the Twin Cities metro area has scenic walking trails in the parks and around the lakes to make walking enjoyable. It helps to have a walking buddy to keep one another company and accountable to your plan. You can keep at a strolling pace or increase your speed to add some challenge and keep things fresh—no pressure or competition here, just whatever works for you.
Jog or run – This allows for a more rigorous physical activity. I’m a jogger who started as a walker some years ago—hey, if I can do this, you can too. I went from walking, to incorporating a few minutes of jogging and eventually increasing my time. You can go as slow or fast as you want—the important thing is that it works for you. Make sure to have plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Play – this include sporting activities or chasing the kids around. I find that when I’m outside playing with the kids, they enjoy my involvement and are motivated to keep at it even longer. Make it fun by doing something different from time to time. We play volleyball, soccer, dodge ball, basketball, jump rope, hopscotch, you name it. Also, for an affordable fee, you and members of your family can sign up to participate in a team sport through most community education programs.
Garden – yard work or gardening can also give you a good workout. I know because when I garden I usually wake up the following day with aches and pains from squatting, kneeling or repetitive motions. The best part of it is the reward of seeing the beauty of your
work—beautiful plants, food harvest, great curb appeal, etc.
Learn/experience something new – surf the net and scan newspapers and magazine to find something new that interests you. There are hundreds of ideas to choose from so go on and do it.
Oh before I go, here’s something that may or may not help sabotage your plan to lose those hips—be strong: studies show that people who carry fat in their lower bodies, including hips, behinds and legs, don’t usually have the problem of an expanding waistline that leads to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Whether you consider that last bit of info good, bad or useless, good luck with your physical activity plans this summer!
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