When I lived in New York City, I actually enjoyed going to the gym. It didn’t hurt that it was convenient (just a few floors down from my office), but I also liked the vibe: There’s something about the clank of weights and the buzz of cardio machines that motivates me to move. But here in L.A. it takes me 20 minutes to get to my gym, and as a result I rarely go. Instead I’ve been walking to work and hiking on the weekends (and doing a fabulous strength-training DVD at home—more on that in my next post!) I’ve noticed something: Exercising outdoors gives me a bigger mental boost than sweating it out in a health club.
On Saturday, Dave and I trekked through Topanga Canyon in Malibu, stopping for a picnic lunch halfway through our 5-mile walk. While we encountered countless lizards, a few gophers, and one skittish partridge, there weren’t too many other people on the trail. Dave and I shared stories about work and friends, but we also spent long stretches of time walking side-by-side in silence. By the time we got back to our car, my legs were beat but I felt happier and more energized than I had all week.
Have I inspired you to take your workout outdoors? Check out the story “Hike Your Way to Your Best Body!” in our May issue. It’s packed with information, including a checklist of what to bring on every outing. Happy hiking!