Staying Active: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
These past few months have been a blur. I’ve been spending an abundance of my time staying active in the outdoors snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, playing basketball and going for a stroll whenever I can.
These activities have lightened the mood, refocused my energy on physical and mental health and have made time fly by at the speed of light. I’ve also found tracking my active energy via apps and tracking devices can be a great motivator.
Staying Active With Fitness Apps
Over the summer of 2020 I invested in an Apple Watch and was so overwhelmed by the amount of data that I tossed it in a drawer. What I’ve learned since is that data is great — if you know how to manage it. I’ve learned to turn off all notifications that don’t relate to standing time, active energy and mindfulness reminders.
Here are three metrics I focus on:
- Resting Heart Rate
- Active Energy
Also, the Fitness + App is great for Apple Watch at a super reasonable price. I’ll never go to a gym again — I wasn’t a fan of gyms before the pandemic and with the ability to take classes at home on my own time I’ll never have to enter a stinky gym again.
Here are some easy activities anyone can get into — it’s also a great opportunity to go off the beaten path and get unique photos.
Cross Country Skiing
Although seasonal this is my new go to activity. It’s a full body workout you wont feel until after you’re done. The adrenaline of sloshing through a snowy trail is a feeling like no other. Highly recommend! Unlike its downhill brethren this activity has a minimal risk of severe injury and lessons are easy!
Hiking: Micro-spikes & Snowshoes
Before investing in a pair of micro-spikes and snowshoes I was intimidated and full of doubt. Thoughts like “this looks daunting and something professionals would do” floated through my mind but I quickly realized these tools make hard trails normal – definitely not easy.
Things to consider when hiking through snow
- Postholes: These are spots where people have sunk in through the snow (most likely people not wearing snowshoes lol) Avoid these if you want to avoid being waist or neck high in snow)
- Stay on the beaten path: The trail is your friend when hiking through snow. The trail has been beaten down which makes it unlikely you’ll sink. If you want to venture out off the trail test the depth with a hiking pole.
- Avoid edges and ledges: You never know when a first step can be your last when walking the edge of a cliff covered in snow. Always follow the footpath 🙂
Hiking & Backpacking
I’ve admittedly grown lazy over the past few years and haven’t been on as many backpacking trips as I’d like, but thats all changed in the last few months. Ive been on more trails that I can count and the www.alltrails.com app has been my motivation. It’s a sign of our times that to do anything with gusto most people need to track and gamify the experience. All trails has done a tremendous job gamifying the experience of hiking and also acting as a safety net with their downloadable maps and active GPS tracking.
Trails I’ve been reluctant to trek over the years have become strolls in the park now that I can track my position and route on my phone or Apple Watch with Alltrails’ Recording feature.
It looks like the pandemic is on it’s way out the door with millions in the United States being vaccinated daily and the world sure to follow. I will spend this summer away from planes and indoor gatherings and will instead explore the outdoors in California.
I’ll save the post-pandemic celebrations for a time when the world has as much access to vaccines as the United States at which point I’ll hop on a plane and explore the world anew 🙂