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I got my hair cut on Saturday morning, and as I was leaving the salon, the receptionist wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe we’ve reached the point in the year where it is acceptable to wish people a Happy Thanksgiving.  This realization inspired me to make the most out of the dwindling opportunities for outside fall fun.  I actually tried my hand (feet?) at jogging in the Arboretum on Saturday afternoon (actually, it was more like evening as I found out once I got to the side of the Arboretum furthest from my house and it quickly got dark.  Oops.).   Honestly, I probably did as much walking as jogging (lots of hills in the Arboretum and as I wrote about last week, I’m just getting back into running) – but it was a lovely autumnal jaunt.  The air was just brisk enough (it stayed on the side of invigorating without crossing the line to chilly) and the scenery was beautiful (although past their peak, the leaves were still putting on a show).  On Sunday, I ventured out my neighborhood and went for a hike in the Blue Hills.   Hiking is probably my favorite outdoor activity.  It is easily customizable (in a place like the Blue Hills with lots of interconnecting trails, you can go for as long as you’d like and you can opt to get your heart pumping with elevation gains or you stick to flatter trails) and it doesn’t really require much (although I’m a firm believer in a good pair of hiking boots and I use trekking poles).  And you get treated to moments like this:

Now, no one loves their gym more than I do.  And I know that I get the best workouts at my gym (especially with a trainer breathing down my neck) – but I also like having my weekend workouts be more focused on an actual activity.  In the summer and spring, this is pretty easy to pull off (hiking, biking, swimming, tennis, etc.).  But it gets hard as it gets colder.  And even harder still when the snow starts.  So I’m really glad I made an effort to take advantage of the fall weather this weekend.  Hopefully there will be a few more weekends like this to enjoy before winter takes over!





When I was a little girl, I dreaded recess at school. Most of the kids would run to the playground and immediately start a game of kick-ball or soccer. But I preferred to look for four-leaf clovers and show off my new pink skirt. 

My only physical activity consisted of weekly ballet classes and lifting the occasional box of Barbie accessories. In a nutshell, fitness was not in my future.

Then, I gained a lot of weight in college. I enjoyed too much junk food and too much beer, and suddenly I realized that I needed to burn some calories and boost my metabolism.

More than anything, I wanted to be healthy. But how? Flash forward ten years, and countless gym memberships, and the truth is I still struggle with this very question. I’ve tried everything. I’ve kick boxed, run miles and miles, practiced yoga, shown a severe lack of coordination in step class, and even braved the world of weight training. I wish I could say that today, I am a sporty, toned babe. I’m not. But I have grown to realize that it’s really important to stay active anyway. It’s not always fun, but it’s important. I think the key for me has been accepting where I am coming from. I am girly. I like wearing cute gym clothes, and I like aerobics classes that blare pop music. I adore yoga, because it lets me focus on flexibility and meditation. I like weight training at Healthworks because I am not intimidated by men who are much stronger than me, (and who keep checking me out.) And finally, I love taking long walks and going hiking. Finding activities that fit your personality is critical. And even though it can be a struggle to get motivated sometimes, choosing the right exercise will increase your chances a thousand-fold.

Nina Braten

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