One of the simplest exercises involves walking out your
front door and around your neighborhood. It is free, it is convenient and
because it's walking, there is very low risk of injury. Let's look at the
pluses and minuses of neighborhood walking:
to know your neighbors
impact-low risk of injury
be dangerous in a high-crime neighborhood
can be a problem if neighbors leave them to roam
can be dangerous if you walk along a busy street
neighbors can be jerks
cold and darkness can make it very unpleasant
One of the truly great things about life in New Mexico
and especially in Albuquerque is that we have easy access to world-class hiking
trails. The City of Albuquerque operates a number of "Open Space
Parks" on our town's west-side, in the Rio Grande Bosque and throughout
the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Just beyond the City's "Open
Space" in the Sandias lies the "Sandia Mountain Wilderness".
This is land owned by the US Department of Agriculture's "National Forest
Service". The Sandia Mountain Wilderness is vast and encompasses
essentially all of the mountains' high peaks. It is one of the most beautiful
and untouched wilderness areas on Earth and it's right in our own backyard.
Most people who live here have never experienced this wilderness, but to look
down on the city from the Sandia Crest is one of the great experiences in life.
Equipment Needed for Trail Hiking:
Depending on time of year and how far you plan to hike,
you may need to invest in some basic outdoor equipment. Among the things you
may need are:
and comfortable footwear. Regardless of type of footwear you elect to use, make
sure that the soles are good at gripping rough surfaces.
shoes: You can easily hike in decent walking shoes. I routinely hike to the
Sandia Crest in $14 Costco shoes. Keep in mind though that shoes like this do
not provide the same ankle support, protection from abrasion and snakebite that
Hiking boots are heavier than shoes but the offer more ankle support and better
protection against abrasion and against snakebite. Boots are also better for
very steep trails where they bend less and offer a better toe-hold.
Carrying Equipment: It's not safe to be in the summer heat without lots of
water. It's insane to hike in the wilderness without it. There are several ways
to carry water:
in your hand: The simplest way to bring water is to hold it in your hands. It's
simple but annoying.
in a backpack: Far better is to toss some bottles of water into a small
Systems": These are backpacks that hold specially-made water-holding bags.
The water bags (bladders) have a plastic tube attached to them that runs out of
the backpack and over your shoulder to a mouthpiece that usually hangs at
chest-level. The mouthpiece is designed to be water-tight until you gently bite
on it at which point you can suck water out of the bladder and take a drink.
This allows you to drink any time you like without the hassle of stopping,
taking-off a backpack and pulling out a water bottle.
If you plan on hiking longer than about two hours, you should bring food with
Choose one with a wide brim to keep your face out of the sun
Especially in summer, especially on your nose, ears, cheeks, lips and hands.
Clothing: In winter
Just in case you get caught in darkness.
A decent map of the trails you plan to hike is essential.
Swimming is a nearly perfect exercise because it provide
a whole-body and low impact workout. It has the added effect, at least in cold
water, of forcing the body to burn fat in order to stay warm. The only problem
with swimming is that you have to know how. And you have to have access to a
Water aerobics offer at least the same exercise quality
as swimming without the need to know how to swim. The downside here is that you
still have to find a pool and find a class.
Biking offers a great aerobic workout and, if pedaling
uphill, a very good anaerobic workout of most of the major leg muscles. Here is
a list of the pros and the cons of bicycling regularly:
be social or solitary
be used as transportation
a bike which costs money and needs maintenance
cause painful bruising of inner thigh in newcomers
so fun in rain or during winter
Competitive sports fall into two categories: one-on-one
(teamless) sports like tennis or racquetball and team sports like soccer or
softball. There are similarities and differences between the two:
Sports: These sport require a single opponent and a venue. Sometimes it can be
hard to find both.
Sports: These activities require two teams who size depends upon the sport, a
venue and often a referee.
Both approaches to competition CAN burn a lot of
calories, but it depends heavily upon the sport in question. Here are some
competative sports ranked, roughly, by number of calories burned (per hour).