Get Up and Be Active!
In the United States we are surrounded (bombarded would be a better term) by weight loss products: weight loss shakes, weight loss pills, weight loss workout videos, weight loss cleanses, promises and guarantees that we will look like hot and happy mamacitas once we consume some if not all of these products. But are all these tricks, videos and products really getting to the heart of the matter? The answer is no!
To achieve the perfect body (we all have our own version in our heads) we must first learn how to get there, and how to do so in a safe and healthy fashion. The triste realidad is that the only way to get there is to work for it, being a couch potato will never make you fit or healthy. So lets get this straight, the weight loss crazes won’t help and wishing upon a star or waiting for the fit fairy godmother to come and transform you from a pumpkin to a sexy Mastretta are only help if you happen to live in Disney movie. Unfortunately there is no cutting corners, you have to get up and do the work; this does not mean you only do so 2 months before your cousin’s bachelorette party or 1 week before the high school reunion to make a lifestyle change. The next obvious question is, what do I need to do? And the answer is simple…Getting active!
Now I’m not saying that you have to get up and run a marathon or start benching 260lbs tomorrow. That is unrealistic and you would be setting yourself up for failure by doing so. However you can start taking baby steps to find that physical activity gets your blood pumping and your endorphins rejoicing. Two years ago I was in a major depression funk, I was over 212 pounds and was not at all active, my energy level was low, my nutrition was “anything goes” and I was, needless to say, very unhappy with the state of things. I wanted to make a change but I did not want to join a gym and I kind of wanted to start solo in this venture just in case I had a few stumbles along the way… the answer for me was …hiking!
Hiking is the friendliest physical activity for newbie athletes:
It’s very affordable:
- All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a water bottle.
- Most parks and trails are free to the public or reasonably priced.
You determine the intensity of your hike:
- You can walk, jog, or run, its up to you either way since hiking is physically challenging at all speeds since you are making your body move through uneven terrain.
- Once you build a bit of confidence and stamina you could even wear ankle weights, wrist weights or a weighted vest to intensify your hike.
No need to be an expert outdoorswoman:
- With the wonders of the World Wide Web, the information is literally a click away, so ask San Google (the search engine with all the answers) what are the cool hiking spots were you live. I remember the first time I went hiking, it was with one with our very own intesa Pamela Villarreal, we were so scared to get eaten by a wild cat that we went to sign in the visitor center! #Embarrassing. We quickly realized that our zero outdoors experience was ok (our chances of seeing a wild cat was slim to none) and basically to go hiking you only need common sense.
- Stay on the paths, not only is it safe for you but you also want to protect the park, wildlife and vegetation.
- Always let someone know where you are going hiking.
- Wear sunscreen to keep your intensa cutis young and beautiful. #saynotoearlyagelines.
- Finally, bring enough snacks and water.
For those of you in the San Diego, CA area- My favorite local hiking spots:
- Cowles Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park
- Fortuna Mountain Saddle Trail in mission Trails Regional Park
- Mount Woodson Trail aka “the potato chip” next to Lake Poway
- Three Sisters Falls in Cleveland National Forest
- Running Trail #5 in Balboa Park
- Hikes on my “To do” list:
San Miguel Mountain in Mt. San Miguel Community Park
- Iron Mountain of Highway 67 by Poway
- Devil’s Punchbowl in Cedar Creek Falls near Ramona
- Hollyridge trail aka “The Hollywood sign” in Hollywood in Griffith Park
- Hellman Park Trail in Hellman Park
- Culver City Stairs in Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Hiking for me was a stepping-stone to regaining my confidence as a woman, as a person, and as an athlete. I now use hiking as a mini-vacay from urban life during the weekend. I love the fact that I can drive 30 minutes and be lost in nature for a good 2 hours where I get a good workout and also have time to meditate my happenings during the week if I hike solo or I get a chance to catch up with friends if I hike in a group. Asi que manos a la obra, o mas bien pies a la obra.
So suit-up, lace up, stand up and go on your first hike this weekend! Let me know all about it!