View On Healthy Lifestyes

Find Time For “Doga” And Outdoor Exercise!

by Laurie Nelson-Barker


Finding the time to grow gardens, eat healthy, and get enough exercise is not always easy.  It is especially difficult during winter, so now that the suns’ rays are providing extreme warmth and light again, it is time to take advantage of the opportunity to play outdoors.


My spouse, Mike, and I find that we are more likely to stick to a routine if we schedule time for it. I have found that is the case for my training clients as well. It is too easy for other activities to inch their way into your normal routine if you do not set aside time exclusively to workout and play. So, Mike and I began by resurrecting the outdated Nintendo Wii, and practicing a yoga routine each morning before breakfast. To our amusement, our giant dog, Tess, tried to mimic some of the moves. Tess is not a morning dog, but her attempts started some fun Facebook conversations and we now call our routine doga in her honor.  She excels at downward-facing dog.


By the time the warmer weather surfaced, we were doga experts, and the Nintendo was getting a little creepy. It told me that I should throw a surprise birthday party for Mike, and told him that he needed to pay more attention to me. It also commented that it had not seen Tess in a while.  She was there, viewing the activity from the comfort of her dog bed.  I guess the Wii has become a life coach, monitoring our household activity and suggesting reform.  At least it is not charging us consulting fees, as far as we know, so hey, we are okay with that.


We had already improved our balance and flexibility thanks to our morning endeavors, but it was time to add more outdoor activity. Lawn and garden maintenance kept us busy, but we needed something more. Cycling the twenty miles into St. George from Dammeron Valley has always been a preferred weekend workout. In the past, we have kept a truck in town and driven home with our bikes in the back. On one occasion, we met friends in town for lunch and when we got to the truck, realized we had the wrong key. That meant biking back to Dammeron Valley. We filled our water bottles and headed up the hill. It was a warm day and we eventually ran out of water. I was slow; Mike was faster. But when I got to the north end of Snow Canyon, I found him lying in the parking lot trying to recover. We still had a ten mile uphill climb ahead, so we did what any fearless southern Utah warriors would do: We called our neighbors to pick us up.


Not wanting to suffer that kind of humiliation again, we purchased pedal assist bikes. It was a hard sell. My reasoning was that now we could make a round trip back to Dammeron Valley without risking death, and if an electromagnetic pulse takes out the power grid, our bikes will still work. If they are charged, we can get a bit of assistance on the hills, but if not, we will have to rely on our own power. We find that we are more likely to ride even if there is a bit of a headwind. In the past, that would have been a deal-breaker.  


It is difficult to admit that our bodies are not in the same condition they were twenty years ago, even if the Wii says so. Did I mention that the Wii lies? Therefore, we will continue to practice doga, bike, hike, golf, and hope for the best.


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