Thursday, September 8, 2016

10 Week Challenge- Sweat an Hour Every Day

We spent most of the summer in Morocco, and because of the heat, we really did very little in the way of exercise. Needless to say, I never lost the winter weight I normally get each year. Worse yet, I added a bit more. I was thinking about exercise a lot but doing very little until this week.  One of the moms at my kid's school started a group to kickstart weight loss for the next 10 weeks, so I joined.  It's more of a support group, rather than an exercise program, so we all have to be doing something independently to move in the general direction of better health.

At first, I wasn't so sure this was the best time to get fit, but she got me to thinking. The weather is going to get cooler, in spite of the heat and humidity we've had this week.  Evenings are still fairly long with sunset after 7 pm, so even if you work, there might be an hour of daylight after dinner. There's a lot to do that would be active outdoors so I wouldn't have to be on the treadmill every day like my husband is doing. I thought I'd get back in the parks and do what my doctor has been telling me for the past 5 or 6 years- just do something that makes you sweat for an hour every day.  Even though I've written two books about Milwaukee, there are still places I've yet to visit.

My goal is to visit as many different parks as possible in this ten week period that ends November 15.  You can start at any time too and join me.  I'd love to hear from you if you're doing something active in any of the parks right now.

This week took us hiking at Doctors Park where the Traveling Beer Garden was visiting. The beer gardens are still open for a few more weeks, so you might have an opportunity to check out one before they close. It's a decent hike down the steps through the woods off the soccer park. We threw rocks for awhile but the waves were too big to do any real skipping.  Then we hiked back up the paved trail, where again it was shaded so it was a great time in spite of the heat. I hadn't been to Doctors Park for quite awhile, so I was impressed by what the Doctors Park Friends Group has been up to.  There are new directional signs to help you find your way through the park.  A new toilet building is also under construction.  This will be wonderful.  It's a rarity to find a working bathroom inside a building at a park now. They tend to get vandalized or used for illegal activities, so I feel lucky if I find a portapotty.  This park has a nice playground, a workout machine, new practice disc golf course, and a beach.  In fall, you might get lucky and see migrating birds coming through as this is a great park for bird watching.
New restrooms under construction

The beach is loaded with rocks, good for skipping

Paved trail through the woods

The stairs at Atwater Park are killer.  There are a lot of them and it's quite steep.  In the past few years, there have also been major improvements at this park, which include a boardwalk and a paved ramp, so you can still do the stairs for exercise, but on the days you just want an easier hike, you can take the ramp.  It's still a challenge, so don't think you're wimping out.  Now that the beach is closed for the season, it's been cleaned well and is still a beautiful spot to meditate, do yoga, walk, or play on the few fun pieces of playground gear at the bottom.  I did this a few times this week and find my calves are screaming at me right now. No one should see me try to get down the stairs in my home as I scream out with every step. This too shall pass.
Lots of stairs for climbing

The beach on Labor Day- lots of bees in those flowers

Aww...someone left a heart

Great swing for all ages and sizes
Wonder where I'll be going next?  Come back later to find out!  Lots more adventures in store!
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