I try to take a preventative approach to my health – both mental and physical. When lockdowns first started, I knew I had to find some way to go outside in order to not feel so cooped up and let my body (and mind) breathe.
I used to publicly post all of my walks on Strava, but stopped in August, when my count reached 91 total walks (!!!). I have kept tracking them in the app, and have been relying on the regular walk challenges (sometimes 4 times a week, sometimes 50K in a month) to force myself out, even when it feels tough.
Though I used to feel bad about not going for runs anymore, I soon realized that my body needed a break after an intense marathon training season. I’ve also taken advantage of the lack of races to explore alternate forms of exercise that I would not have normally taken up when I was running 5 days a week, like strength training and pilates.
My favorite parts of taking these walks have been exploring my neighborhood and soaking in the sunshine and greenery around me. Though I suspected that being out and about was important for my mental health before (again, I was out running 5 days a week!), taking these walks on my own accord throughout the year has truly hammered that point home for me. I’ve even noticed a dip in my mood and temperament when I don’t get out and move my body outside.