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Car-Less Fitness

ride your bike

My car puttered to a stop this week, turning out to be in dire need of a new alternator.  Unfortunately it conked out while we were out for dinner, meaning Sean and I had to schlep our kids and ourselves a few miles home on foot in the near dark.  This sounded something like, “Carry me.  Put me down.  Pick me up.  I don’t want to be picked up! Where is our car?”  But, the silver lining of being car-less for most of the week has been better integrated fitness (not exactly workouts, but definitely fitness).  Here’s what it looked like:

Monday (5 miles of running): Ran 2.5 miles each way to volunteer at the kids’ school and get back to work. I stashed a t-shirt in my son’s cubby in the morning so I’d have something dry to put on when I got to school, and I took an awkward “French shower” in the ladies room at work when I returned. This only took 15 minutes longer (total) than driving, including the “French shower.”

Wednesday (15 miles of biking): Biked the kids (and 2 lunchboxes, 2 sets of sheets, a change of clothes, and a computer) in the trailer from home –> school, school –> work, work –> school, school –> doctors’ appt, doctor’s appt –> home.  Listened to giggles in the trailer the whole way (except for when kid #1 was squashing kid #2’s head into the side of the trailer), and someone at work commented that the flag on my bike is “cute.”

Thursday (6 miles of biking and 3 miles of jogging): Biked to/from work (6 miles) and jogged 3 miles to pick up the car at the end of the day.  That 3 miles — which I never would have done otherwise, since I ran this morning — actually cleared my head after a long day.  I came home happier and more relaxed than if I would have cruised home with the A/C on listening to NPR.

This teeny episode of forced bike/run commuting was a good reminder of how easy it is to make simple changes that lead to a more active day.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever adjust to the French shower, but the fresh air in my face and the sun on my back mid-day definitely make it worth it.

What’s the last workout you fit into a crazy day?  Would you rather integrate exercise into your daily routine or carve out time for dedicated workouts?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kim libin #

    I love those car free days! I sometimes do an “accidental triathlon” of sports in them…bike run tennis…bike run to gym and lift weights…!

    May 24, 2013

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