Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Flower Power Walk

Spring rain is a renewal to the lifeless, still landscapes that we see in the winter. I enjoy a brisk walk in the spring to enjoy the budding trees and blooming wild flowers. It's a great way to get outside after a long winter to enjoy a workout in the fresh air! When I lived in California, the spring rain brings out gorgeous flowers and the hills are bright green. Then summer comes and the rain stops and the hills turns golden because of the mustard grass (brought by the Spaniards). Needless to say, I was always distracted seeing the green hills! In my old house in San Jose, where I grew up, we had a cherry orchard at the end of my street. The mustard blooms are a beautiful sign of springtime in California (great photo here). My friend, Romeo, took photos of me back in high school in that mustard grass in the orchard for his photography class when we were in high school. I wish I had those photos! This picture on the left is the closest thing I have in Indiana to the mustard blooms.

This afternoon I took Ava for a 2-mile hill walk on our street and I saw some gorgeous spring wild flowers. My power walk took me about 1-hour and it put the baby right to sleep! It was 45 degrees outside so I bundled her up in her stroller and she was so cozy (you can see in the photo). I saw daffodils, violets, and these pretty yellow and purple flowers on the bushes and trees outside.

I had a cesarean birth and it took longer to recover than a natural birth, but since I was in shape and healthy prior to the surgery, it helped me recover more quickly. Today, was the first day that I really felt strong to exercise like normal again. The stroller, car seat, and baby weigh about 40 lbs total. Going up and down hills I was working my gluts, abs, and getting a great cardio workout!

Power walking in the spring lets you enjoy the flowers and gets you moving! Here's a couple tips on planning a perfect spring walk:
  • Trails and hills: Seek out trails in local parks or a secluded country area. When I lived in Illinois, I walked on the prairie path and in Indiana, many people run/walk/bike on the Monon Trail. Even driving a short distance to an open area and then walking from there gets you to a more into nature. The farther you can get from car traffic, the nicer the walk you can look at the spring landscape and not be distracted by looking for cars all the time.
  • Use Google Maps to calculate distance: I mapped my street that I live on, which has a dead end at the top of the hill. It's a 1/2 mile each way so I do 4 legs to equal 2 miles. Some trails have mile markers to make it easy to keep track.
  • Be social: I've done lots of walking with friends and it makes the time pass faster because you're distracted by the conversation. It turns out that I've walked farther because I'm having a good time. My mother-in-law walks with her best friends and it helps keep them motivated.
  • Take your heart monitor to track calories and heart rate: I forgot my heart monitor this time, but I'm planning to use it for the next walk. I know I worked hard on the hill walk today, but it would be better if knew my calories burned. Here's a post from the summer on using heart monitors.
It feels good to be back in it again! Spin class was my favorite pre-pregnancy workout, but being home with the baby walking the hills outside is a good workout that I don't have to drive to the gym or get a sitter. It's convenient that she falls asleep in the stroller and I can fit in the workout between feeding and caring for Ava.

Please share your tips for spring power walks!

1 comment:

  1. I love walking in the morning and I plan on using our the longer days to get back into that routine. Maybe we could meet in the middle for a walk some day soon!