Austin Makes it Easy to Keep those Resolutions
You inhaled the kids’ Halloween candy. Thanksgiving was a symphony of pies and whipped cream. The neighborhood kids have begun calling you “Santa.” Well, maybe it’s time for you to put down the fork and get back into shape!
We live in one of the best places to get fit in the nation, according to both Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines, so think about the activities that most appeal to you, grab a buddy and get moving. Bikers and bladers have a place in Austin they can call their own — the Veloway. This paved, 3.1-mile course is always motorist-free. Mountain bikers have almost a dozen trails to call their own. Water-lovers can row down Lady Bird Lake, considered one of the best places to row in the nation. Swimmers can spend the day at Barton Springs pool. Runners have an endless variety of trails to choose from, including the Town Lake trails and the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
The holidays are over; the feasting is done. Now’s the time to start getting ready for summer. Get started soon — it’ll be here before you can say, “large peppermint mocha with whipped cream.”
Too many Cookies Spoil the Body
The cookie plate holds only crumbs. Empty eggnog cartons sit in a recycling bin next to boxes that once held gifts of icing-covered cake. A few colorful wrappers, lost in the cushions of the couch, are the only evidence that remains of a three-month candy carnival.
Or are they? As we stand in front of the mirror and gaze at our new “muffin tops,” we may realize that wrappers and cartons are not the only visible confirmation of our unchecked caloric hedonism.
Grease the gears on the bike, lace up your shoes and grab a bottle of water; it’s time to prepare for swimsuit season. But browbeating yourself into physical exertion hasn’t worked in the past, and it’s not going to work now. The only way to get into shape is to make the process fun. Choose an activity that you like to do, and a friend or two to do it with. Soon, you’ll be ready to show off your svelte self — and you might just enjoy the experience.
If you like to bike or blade, check out the Veloway. This unique 3.1-mile trail is specifically reserved for cycling and rollerblading, and is totally free of motorized traffic. There are also several mountain biking trails in Austin, including the popular Barton Creek Greenbelt located right in the heart of the city. The Bull Creek Greenbelt is great for beginners, while the trails at Emma Long Park can give anyone — even an expert rider — a serious workout.
If you want to get in shape fast, start rowing. Lady Bird Lake, recognized as one of the top ten places to row in the U.S. by Rowing Magazine, provides ample opportunity and incredible scenery. Folks of all skill levels can take classes through the Austin Rowing Club. For those who just want to spend a day on the water getting some sun and fresh air, kayaks, paddle boats and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent.
Swimming is a great way to get in shape. But if you want to get away from the standard pool scene, take in some of our beautiful natural swimming holes. Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural grotto fed by a 50-foot waterfall and surrounded by lush, green vegetation. The most famous swimming “hole” has to be Barton Springs Pool, which remains at a near-constant 68 degrees — the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day. And don’t miss Deep Eddy Pool. This spring-fed oasis is large enough for both lap swimmers and children to enjoy.
Running seems to be the standard Austin pastime. And why not? The trails in Austin can tempt the most ardent marathoner and the novice walker with a mix of peaceful natural settings and top-quality facilities. Start your running on the 10-mile Town Lake trail, where you’ll find runners on even the hottest and coldest days of the year. Or jog through one of the most picturesque areas in Central Texas, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, with 7.9 miles of trails.
There’s just no excuse worth making. Put down the last candy cane, get outside and enjoy the benefits of living in one of the best places in the nation to get fit. And have some fun while you’re at it!