Filed under: Health in America | Tags: fishing, gym, gym membership, healthy-living, neighborhood, outdoor exercise, park, running, sprinklers, swinging
Okay so this morning I headed out for my morning run around 6:30 or so. When I approached my first turn to begin my normal weave through the neighborhood I couldn’t help but notice two or three people heading to Encanto Park so I thought I would see what the big deal was. Let me tell you, this place was legit! Green grass, jungle gyms, swing sets, hardcore sprinkler systems, a mini amusement park, ponds, tennis & basketball courts, a mini golf course, picnic areas and so much more! Of course this got my wheels turning-why on earth would you pay a ghastly amount for a gym membership when more likely than not you have a FREE gym right around the corner. I don’t know about you but when I used to go to the gym I could never get anything done. I was distracted by other people, had a serious case of ADD when it came to picking a machine and sticking with it, it smelt like nasty ass human toxins and more importantly it was taking money out of my pocket month after month. How many of us pay for a gym membership and never go (come on I know your out there)? What a waste right? So why not take advantage of something that adds to your life rather than takes away from it. Deciding whether to get your ass off the couch ultimately has zero affect on your wallet, only your body. It is a completely guilt free option for those of you who aren’t utilizing your gym memberships.
But wait! Saving money isn’t the only up side to harnessing the benefits of your neighborhood park, it’s fun too! While running this morning more than one person said “Good Morning!” and it totally took me by surprise. In today’s society it seems rare for complete strangers to acknowledge your presence, everyone seems to be trapped inside their own little brains. So I said hello and went on my way and as I continued to meander through the park I admired the ducks and spotted two older gentlemen with fishing rods. I thought you can fish in here?! Surely they don’t catch anything worthwhile-so I asked! Well, not only could you catch fish but Catfish that you can actually eat. Of course in my mind I’m thinking hell yeah-free dinner! Naively not taking into account the process of gutting and scaling a fish, which I have no idea how to do or even attempt. So I let that idea come and go and proceeded on my adventure. Next I spotted an enticing jungle gym fully equipped with a swing set, monkey bars, two slides and a teeter-totter. I through some sand on my hands and attempted the monkey bars failing miserably. They may be an option for those of you capable of doing a pull up? I for one cannot, which was made quite clear this morning! How the heck did I manage these things in the first grade…oh yeah, I didn’t have the ass the size of a watermelon! Oh well, on to the next task- the swings. I pumped myself up so high I actually thought I might do some serious damage to the swing set so I decided to cut my losses and come to terms with the fact that my posterior was just too large at my ripe age of twenty-two to thoroughly enjoy the playground festivities like the good old days. Nonetheless it was the perfect way to slow my heart rate down just for a moment and start my day off on a positive swing (pun intended). The last thrill of my trek came when a few yards ahead I detected a huge grassy area with high-pressure SPRINKLERS. What better way to cool off and boost your heart rate then sprinting through a water system! I darted from one sprinkler head to the next and this is when it hit me, why do we fail to see the beauty in things that are right in our backyard? In a matter of thirty minutes I gained everything desired in a gym and more. The open space left little room for tedious distractions and provided new, clean, fresh air that has been shown to improve athletic performance (Airware Labs). In addition, it would be nearly impossible to become fed up and hop in the car to head home unless you wanted to track down a cab. Assuming you don’t bring spare cash on your treks this would resort to hitch hiking home, a little shady if you ask me. But the number one reason you should take advantage of your neighborhood? It’s a FREE way to burn the fat, shed some weight in your belly and gain some weight in your wallet. Hope this inspires some of you to rethink your workout routine. Give it a try and you never know… you may never pay another gym payment again! Thanks for reading =)