In this little niche of the blog world, long distance endurance events, high intensity interval training, and 90 minutes power yoga sessions seem to dominate the discussion.
And for good reason! These types of workouts push us to our limits; they challenge us to become the individuals we never dreamed we could be. They makes us healthier and stronger while simultaneously providing us with immeasurable satisfaction and joy.
Yet, lost amongst all this talk of marathons and triathlons and duathlons are the slower-paced activities that don’t necessarily carry the same “glamor” of these events….like walking, for example!
While I love the empowering feeling that generally accompanies me in the moments after finishing up a solid run, I have found that the quieter joy found in a walk lingers with me far longer.
Today, I took a slow-paced walk this afternoon that left me far happier than the run I took this morning. The run should have been great! All the conditions were perfect….the humidity was low; the air was cool and crisp; I ran along one of my favorite routes.
Yet, the parts didn’t add up to a cohesive whole. For whatever reason, I felt sluggish and hungry and slow. I finished up my four mile run without having experienced any real “joy” during the run.
The “joy” I sought earlier was waiting for me in the form of a slow and leisurely walk taken at a park with my residents later on in the afternoon.
Here, I found what I had missed in my morning run. I took the time to slow down and savor the scenery.
I took the time to smell the roses and appreciate the immense beauty around me. Intense running workouts don’t always afford me the chance to savor these small details.
Healthy living doesn’t always have to take the obvious forms.
You don’t need to run or to bike 70 miles or swim for three hours to be healthy. A healthy lifestyle can be found in mixing it up between the intense and the slower-paced activities and in simply choosing activities that make you happy!
It can also be found in ditching the workout schedule on occasion and just enjoying the company of people who have touched your life in one way or another….like the residents who joined me on this outing today.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that healthy living is about finding a balance. I believe that’s where we’ll find true happiness….somewhere between the long run and the rose garden stroll.