The Benefits of Walking

With the holidays around the corner trying to balance work, getting ready for Christmas, and taking care of Cooper (since Ray is traveling so much) has left me very little time to workout. In order to still fit some exercise into my schedule I have been taking Cooper on lots of walks. Walking might not seem like tough exercise, but you would be surprised at what a difference those extra steps can make.

According to the American Heart Association, besides burning calories and being easier on your joints than running, walking has a lot of other benefits.

  • Helps maintain your body weight and lower your risk of obesity
  • Improves mental well-being
  • Helps strengthen your bones and reduces your risk of losing bone density
  • Improves your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Reduces your risk of breast and colon cancer and type 2 diabetes

Cooper and I have a few different walking routes that vary in length, but all of them range from a mile to a mile and a half long and include Windansea beach. Recently, I have been taking Cooper on two to three walks a day. In the morning, Cooper pretty much starts barking at his leash the moment I get out of bed and lately has been practically pulling me down the street.

cooper leash

I guess he is just as I excited as I am to get down to the beach. I love walking along the beach because I can watch the surfers and the waves whereas Cooper only cares about watching the squirrels. Here are some pictures from our recent walks at Windansea beach.

winansea 3

cooper walk 3

windansea 2

Those black dots in the water are surfers. I am always amazed at how many surfers there are in the morning. It must be so cold in the water!

windansea 1

windansea sunset 3

windansea sunset 1

Sometimes while we are on our walks Cooper will just plop down and refuse to move. He can be such a goofball!

cooper walk grass

cooper walk grass 2

cooper walk wallAs you can probably tell I love walking at Windansea beach and look forward to my walks with Cooper there every day. Some of my other favorite places to go for a walk in San Diego are

  • Balboa Park
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
  • La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Seal Beach area
  • Walking/ bike path from Pacific Beach to Mission Beach

If you want to increase your calorie burn or kick your walking up a notch, check out these walking workout routines from Health.com.

If you try any of the workouts from Health.com, let me know how you like them.

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A Run on the Treadmill and Date Night

I have been slacking on my running lately for the Pile on the Miles Challenge. This past week my goal was to run 8 miles and before Saturday I hadn’t been running once. Now that it is getting darker earlier by the time I leave work it is pitch dark outside, which caused me to lose all motivation to go to the gym and run last week.

On Saturday, I had some errands to do which were right by my gym so I decided to pop in and get a 30 minute run in. The last few times I went running outside my knees bothered me a little during the run and were pretty sore afterwards. I thought it might be good idea to run on the treadmill and give my knees a little break.

For my warm up, I walked on the treadmill for about 5 minutes at a leisurely pace and then stretched my legs and hips since my body was still feeling a little stiff. I started my run at a nice and easy pace and as my body continued to warm and loosen up I increased my pace. I ended up having a great run and my knees didn’t bother me at all.  I ran 3.2 miles in 28 minutes and 36 seconds.

After my run, I was a hot sweaty mess and my cheeks were pretty pink…they were almost  the same color as my shirt!post run

Historically, my cheeks always get really red/pink when I am running and stay that way for a long after my run is finished.  Usually, I  get pretty bored on the treadmill and a 30 minute run feels like it takes forever, but on Saturday the time flew by. I downloaded some new music before I went to the gym on Saturday, which must have helped keep me going. I rocked out to Burn by Ellie Goulding and a bunch of Lana Del Rey’s songs that were remixed.

If you are new to running or get bored easily on the treadmill like I do you should try varying your pace throughout your run so you are running and walking/jogging for timed intervals. For instance run at quick pace for 4 minutes and then jog or walk at a slower pace for 2 minutes.  When I started getting into running this workout helped me build my stamina and now that I am a more experienced runner it has helped me run faster.  I also find when I do a 30 minute run on the treadmill if I break up the run into timed intervals and mix up the paces it helps the time fly by because I focus on how much time is left in the interval rather than the total time left in my workout.

After my workout, I headed home to clean the house and get ready for my date night with Ray. However, the weather was too nice to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning the house so I decided to grab Cooper and take him for a walk.  Walking with Cooper was a great way to cool down after my run and Cooper had a good time watching the people at the beach and looking for squirrels. Windansea 11.9

Cooper Walk  It was pretty warm outside and on the way home Cooper got hot and decided to plop down on someone’s lawn. It took me forever to get him to start walking again. Cooper Walk 2

After our walk, Cooper took a nap and I managed to quickly clean the house before I jumped in the shower and got ready for date night. My mom sent Ray and I a gift card to George’s Ocean Terrace for our 1 year wedding anniversary. Ray took me George’s Ocean Terrace for dinner after he proposed to celebrate.  The drinks are great, the food is tasty, and the view is amazing.  The terrace overlooks La Jolla Cove and gives you a great view of the coastline.  Check out the view…it really is a cool place to have lunch or dinner. Cove viewWhenever we go to George’s Ocean Terrace I always have a lemondrop martini (okay maybe two) and Ray and I always get the mussels for our appetizer and the sticky toffee pudding cake for dessert.Dinner Out

As usual the food and the drinks were awesome last night and we had a great time at dinner. We haven’t been on a date night in a while so it was fun to dress up and have a long, leisurely dinner.