Reward yourself – Make a resolution to get out of the gym

By Travis Coursey | Jan 16, 2013

Every year, I make the same old promises to myself. I try to moderate the holiday dinner portions and count the delectable treats I consume, all while swearing to go to the gym the next morning.

Of course, after a festive evening of culinary excess, the willpower to turn down the next dark chocolate raspberry truffle fades away in a sea of future declarations to exercise. And the next morning always arises sooner than it should.

The distant memory of last night's vows to work off the calories, are now digesting slowly amongst a caboodle of empty promises.

This year I thought, why not try something other than the monotony of exercising in a gym? So my girlfriend and I headed off to Mt. Hood – on a two-day snowshoeing excursion – to work off the excess holiday pounds.

Years ago, I would have thought of snowshoeing as a leisurely stroll, but now that I’m in my 40s, it qualifies as safe and strenuous adventure.

Surprisingly, it’s much like hiking, but it is low impact on the joints. Snowshoeing requires much more upper body movement in order to maintain balance through a few inches of powder. The entire body is engaged and an abundance of energy is burned.

Our first day, we were entirely swallowed by an untouched white snowscape, as the sun rose behind a background of brilliant blue sky. The night before was star-filled and clear, setting the stage for the penetrating chill of a perfect winter morning. Much better than the treadmill at the gym!

After two explorative days and about 12 miles hiked, I woke early in my bed feeling accomplished, but perfectly exhausted. It wasn’t too soon until muscle fatigue and soreness set in.

But what a rewarding weekend! I have so much more experience – and great pictures – to show for it than if I had just gone to the gym. Still, with my muscle fatigue and soreness, I’ll be turning to a few Mukilteo businesses to help me recover from my Mt. Hood excursion – and keep the good feelings going.

First, I’ll enjoy the relaxation and detoxification of the Infrared Body Wraps offered by Sunray Tanning Salon (425-513-8826) at the corner of 84th St. S.W. and Mukilteo Speedway.

These wraps have been shown to increase circulation and metabolism while detoxifying the skin and decreasing fatty deposits. I lay there motionless, likely falling asleep, while burning as many as 1,400 calories from the deep penetrating heat. Plus, it just feels great!

Secondly, I’ll indulge a massage at Serene Massage Therapy (425-290-6024), at 4803 84th St. S.W. I am considering trying their “multi-hands” treatment, where four hands from two practitioners work out all the kinks and soreness of snowshoeing.

Finally, I’ll make an appointment at Bella Nails and Spa (425-315-8090), at 11601 Harbour Pointe Blvd., for a comforting mani/pedicure. Along with a clean and polished look, the treatment includes a subtle foot and hand massage, while soothing pressure points and softening my skin.

However you may have decided to start off 2013, when it comes to your health and exercise, take advantage of our regional wilderness environment. We are so blessed scenery, we could never fully partake in it all.

Don’t get caught up staying at home just because it’s cold, or only exercise in the gym because it’s warm and convenient. Go out and make those memories. They last forever.

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