20 ways to drag your ass outside
January 18, 2021 9:42 AM   Subscribe

(Ways to motivate yourself. Source link: The Guardian) The weather is rubbish, there is nowhere to go and, bereft of the joys of spring, the daily lockdown walk can feel pointless. But, of course, it is not: the mental and physical health perks of exercise are immune to seasonal changes. We need to gallivant around outside in daylight so that our circadian rhythms can regulate sleep and alertness. (Yes, even when the sky is resolutely leaden, it is still technically daylight.) Walking warms you up, too; when you get back indoors, it will feel positively tropical. But if meeting these basic needs isn’t enough to enthuse you, there are myriad ways to add purpose to your stride and draw your attention to the underappreciated joys of winter walking.

Trick #21: Join various MeFites in the Peripatetic Persistent Pirate Puffins' Pacific Peregrination, Part 2: SF to Tokyo virtual trek, which is not limited to walking and is a highly freeform, collective effort.
posted by Bella Donna (58 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
Last year we got a dog that has never done its business in our yard; she always does a "perimeter patrol", about a 1/4 mile walk total (if she really has to go she'll go like four houses down, but not always; sometimes she does the patrol and doesn't go at all) AND she loves the cold. It's a good thing I like the dog, otherwise I'd resent being forced to go for a long walk like my doctor wants me to. (pet tax)
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:49 AM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

Agree on 'get a dog' or at least, 'borrow a dog'. I trained my dog (tax) not to do her business within the fence which is great -- no burned grass or flowers, no worries napping on the grass -- but my side of the bargain is that she always gets walks. She's 13 now, and slowed down quite a bit, but this still means 5km a day. The hour or so we do in the afternoon is almost always the highlight of the day...
posted by bumpkin at 10:00 AM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

Geocaching should be on that list.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:05 AM on January 18, 2021 [11 favorites]

If you are looking at living things, in addition to paper field guides, there are apps that can help you. iNaturalist is a digital field book that will save your observations and help you ID them, immediately with AI as far as possible and then crowd sourcing further IDs. Seek is a little more amateur and kid friendly version of iNaturalist that uses the same AI id but also has badges and challenges, for those who like that sort of thing.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:14 AM on January 18, 2021 [10 favorites]

We've been having a bleak—but not extreme—winter in Chicago. This city is unfairly synonymous with howling winds and subzero conditions. But we've had barely any snow at all this season so far. My friends in NYC have already dealt with much more than we have. I had to shovel the walks one time, and it had mostly melted by the next day. We haven't had any truly cold weather at all. It's surprising, really. It's just been in the 30s-40s F with some overnight 20s. But it has been GRAY. Endlessly gray. I cannot remember the last time I saw full sun.

I'm off work until mid March and I'm going low-grade stir crazy. I can't even muster the energy to play video games. So I'm off on my big adventure this week to the grocery store. I am taking Covid seriously, and I hope all of us here are doing so.
posted by SoberHighland at 10:17 AM on January 18, 2021 [14 favorites]

As usual, none of these motivation strategies have a "magically decide that you'd rather consciously do some task that requires you to get dressed and go outside, rather than just stay inside and keep drinking tea and watching movies" step.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 10:20 AM on January 18, 2021 [31 favorites]

Honestly I'd probably never ever leave the house without my dog, but I have really been enjoying the snowy walks in the forest with her. Maybe a similar "obligation" like agreeing to meet up with a friend at a trail (if safe etc) would be helpful for motivation to get out there in the first place.
posted by randomnity at 10:32 AM on January 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

My issue is with the mud. I have no great difficulty persuading myself up and out for most of the year, but in the winter, all the interesting footpaths are unpleasant to walk, especially this year with all the extra footfall churning them up. It's no fun when you're having to watch your feet fixedly. Town pavements aren't muddy, of course, although I wish people would be more diligent about cleaning up after their dogs... but in a town of 20k people, there are only so many streets to explore, and lockdown guidance says I shouldn't expand my horizons by walking to one of the nearby villages.

That said, I thought that was a really good article. I have four new walking apps on my phone now, and come the end of lockdown, I'm hopeful that between them they'll introduce me to some interesting new routes.

Seconding the recommendation for iNaturalist. There's a ton of other citizen-science stuff around too: if you want to help count bees or butterflies or wild flowers or trees coming into leaf or... there's sure to be someone somewhere interested in your input.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:44 AM on January 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

Nice article. A few other ideas:

#22- go on a dérive

#23 - find and document Thomassons.
posted by eotvos at 11:09 AM on January 18, 2021 [11 favorites]

Wildlife I saw today:

- a fat seagull eating a BEC
- three rats
- a family on Citibikes
posted by betweenthebars at 11:10 AM on January 18, 2021 [16 favorites]

My dog died a couple of years ago, and since then I haven't been able to walk our old routes. The one direction open to me I had avoided because it passed through a concrete hellscape and then into a very urban part of town devoid of natural areas. I finally forced myself to take that option, and was delighted to find myself in the midst of urban life with all kinds small shops to explore and all kinds of people to interact with.
posted by No Robots at 11:19 AM on January 18, 2021 [10 favorites]

go on a dérive

Or, relatedly, flânerie, though that option is diminished by the absence of crowds.

Unfortunately, I think the problem with both of these forms of pretentious walking is that I've already become extremely familiar with my immediate neighborhood over the past year. I'm finding that exercise-jogging beyond the boundaries of my usual walking perimeter is the only way to experience the unfamiliar. Cycling is tricky and public transit right out.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:23 AM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

1) smoke like a chimney so it's necessary to go buy cigarettes every few days.

2) fail to organize & synchronize your grocery buying so that you're always almost out of something. (fresh half gallon of milk = no cereal left; just bought jelly? Got 1 spoonful of peanut butter and 2 slices of bread left. Etc. Etc. Etc.)
posted by soundguy99 at 11:35 AM on January 18, 2021 [11 favorites]

This article is great. I think my favorite line was, "I don’t recommend licking trees or anything."

Motivation to take the first step (the one out the door) is indeed the hardest. All I got is knowing that in the winter I rarely "feel like" going out there but once I do, I'm always glad I did. Every time. So I would suggest picking one or more of these and just telling yourself that you must do it, like you must brush your teeth or what have you, until you're able to tell yourself "I will be glad I've done it once I get out there."
posted by evilmomlady at 11:35 AM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

Every weekend I'll go for a short hike in some local ravine with my kids. I take some hot tea and snacks and we'll do stuff like cross rivers or make small fires to make it adventurous for them and we also take a pocket microscope to look at stuff. They look forward to it which means I have to go out even when I don't feel like it so there's motivation for everyone. They don't get to go out too much during the week so I feel it's necessary to get them out for a couple of hours on the weekend.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:43 AM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

BookCrossing is another thing that should be on this list. It also dovetails nicely with Little Free Libraries and other book exchange spots.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:55 AM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

that's a pretty nice list indeed.
my personal walking routine is based on seeing sunset and sunrise everyday.
partly inspired by low angle light and circadian rhythms evidence from some neuroscientists... https://www.instagram.com/p/B-w7GP7nwwk/
posted by danjo at 12:13 PM on January 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is very timely, as I'm just hitting the point in physical therapy where my therapists have been gently pointing out that "the more walking you do right now, the better." (I'm recovering from a broken knee in October.)

So this afternoon, when a friend dragged me out for lunch a block up the street, when we finished and he said "actually, do you want to walk around a bit?" I made myself say "yes", and suggested we just walk up the street so I could get a Metrocard. It took me an hour to walk the four blocks to the station and another hour back, and at the end I had to grab his arm when I was poking my way over some of the weird divots in my sidewalk, but it got me out of the house, it got my leg a workout, it got me a Metrocard, it gave us both chance to yak. And it gave him a peek inside the courtyard of this gorgeous apartment complex in my neighborhood.

I may bookmark this and in a couple weeks ask if he wants to tag along on another slow-roll walk in a different direction.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

Great list. Makes me wish I could walk outside my apartment without getting sexually harassed.

I do like to spot birds out the window on my elliptical, though.
posted by brook horse at 12:33 PM on January 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

What if it's a blazing hot summer?
posted by signal at 12:35 PM on January 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

I like to look at vacant land for sale online, find one that looks interesting, drive to it, and walk around on it. If anyone confronts you, explain that you're looking at land to buy.
posted by The otter lady at 12:38 PM on January 18, 2021 [13 favorites]

It is so so so hard to leave my home on some days. One recent day, my phone tells me I walked 23 steps. I know I walked more than that but not much because I did not leave my home at all. It is gray here in my neck of Sweden but it did snow a few days ago, which makes everything 1000X times beautiful. brook horse, I am so sorry you can't leave your place without getting sexually harassed. I feel for those who are unable to leave their homes for other reasons.

I went to a store today because I could get a ride and my buddy asked, "does everyone have your mask ready?" My buddy is in my Covid pod and so is my kid, who was also in the car. Someone gave me a spare mask and I started weeping when I put it on because I just felt so exhausted suddenly by the pandemic. Anyway, I understand that this list may be aspirational for folks who have many good reasons why they cannot go outside. If that is the case, that sucks. Maybe meet me in the fucking fucks thread. Hang in there, everyone!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:47 PM on January 18, 2021 [8 favorites]

Honestly, I'm just doing laps around my apartment these days rather than going outside. I don't have to worry about weather or avoiding other humans in here. I don't have to load on lots of clothes to keep warm. I put on a podcast or a video on the phone or read the Kindle or whatever and just pace back and forth for 90 minutes, which is how much daily walking I did in the beforetimes. It's not an exciting walk and all my pedometer tech has a very hard time recognizing steps when you keep having to turn around again and again, but it's something and I give myself bonus points every time I actually do it instead of sinking into watching more Hallmark Channel.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2021 [7 favorites]

I am 2 months postpartum and none of my warm clothes fit, which is one of the reasons I haven't been going outside much except to the park with the kids. But, the winter bonus is that its dark all the time and I figured out yesterday an evening walk in ill fitting clothes is perfect. Nobody can really see what I look like!
posted by stripesandplaid at 12:54 PM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

I started biking to work in the summer and have kept at it so I'm good for outdoor activity, and activity in general really, but if I didn't have to come in to work then there's no way that I'd still be doing it. I don't think I could be convinced to start doing it right now but as I have been doing it continuing isn't a big deal, at least until the polar vortex descends later this month.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:01 PM on January 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I am lazy and don't like the cold, and I have not been going for walks. The closest I've got is shoveling the walk (yuck), taking out the trash, and looking out the window at the various animal tracks in my yard and idly wondering what they are. (I'm going to look them up. I'm thinking one of the is deer, but I have no idea what the other ones are.) But yeah, I should go for a walk. Maybe I'll dig up my cute hats and scarves and see if that's enough motivation.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:02 PM on January 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I do miss walking outside very very much -- that's a favorite activity for me and boyfriend. But he's 2 states away, I dislike walking when my glasses are fogging up because of the stupid mask, and I don't really like walking by myself because I get nervous and I'm trying to stay away from all friends and family because I have to go in to work so much. So, it's been indoor workouts only since November when the cases started spiking here. The lack of fresh air and sunlight is definitely concerning me -- I actually like having to shovel snow for a change. But at least if things aren't better when spring comes I'll be able to get out and garden.
posted by JanetLand at 1:06 PM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've been doing, on average, 5-6 mile walk (or walk/runs, though I have a weird knee and there's been more walking than running) every day during Covid (with 9-12 milers once or twice a week). The walks keep me sane and I love them. I listen to music or podcasts or sometimes just the stream nearby and the birds. When the weather is lousy, I feel like I might lose my mind without them.

On the plus, I live in North Carolina, where the winters are pretty mild ( so I don't have many days that keep me inside)and I live in a walkable neighborhood that abuts a large University owned forest (with connected parks and greenways) in a walkable college town. I am hugely lucky to have these resources and I do not take it for granted.

I spent years of my life, hardly walking at all, let alone taking daily long walks. I could almost get emotional talking about how it has affected my health, and in particular, my mental health. It sounds cheesy af, but the walking thing has been truly a lifesaver for me.
posted by thivaia at 1:13 PM on January 18, 2021 [17 favorites]

#72. Pick up trash. I live near a large park, which has a feeder river that drops off a large amount of garbage every time it rains. Buy a grabber stick (plastic ones break, go with metal), get some sturdy gloves, detrashinate!
posted by user92371 at 2:23 PM on January 18, 2021 [16 favorites]

Welp, this post and comment thread inspired me to go for a walk just now, after ten months of being pretty sedentary while working from home. It was only for 10 minutes, but I discovered a new footpath in the neighborhood. :)
posted by darkstar at 2:37 PM on January 18, 2021 [20 favorites]

I created a MetaFilter group on World Walking if anyone is interested in joining. Creatively called MetaFilter Walkers.
posted by kathrynm at 2:40 PM on January 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

I like walking, and we live in a suitable area, so sometimes I do go for walks. But walking doesn't work too well for my partner. Luckily, he can ride a bike. So we take short bike trips, just half an hour, several times a week; if the weather is nice, we go pretty much every day. We don't go fast, but we get out of the house and we move around. In Dutch we call that 'getting a fresh nose'.

On the days when the weather is unappealing, we do half an hour of indoor cardio.
Not a bad routine, at all. We've started doing this ever since he was told to work from home.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:50 PM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

98% of the time I’m incredibly grateful for the two dogs that make me get out and walk pretty much no matter the weather.

2% of the time I’m pretty pissed about it. I guess that’s a pretty good ratio.

I don’t necessarily feel automatically better after a walk, but I’m sure my depression would be raging hard if I weren’t getting out there.
posted by obfuscation at 3:08 PM on January 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Normally long walks are my resting-day activity, and usually on weekends because they just take so. fucking. long. But I have not been able to run since injuring my knees on the Day of the Dipshits, so as soon as I was cleared to move about I started in on some real monster walks. Like my running routine it's an all-weather, all-hours deal. I don't mind walking in the cold or after dark; out of deference to my busted knees I do try to avoid it when things are icy. The main problem is I can no longer drink a coffee on the walks because of the dumb fucking mask, so it's a little sad reminder of how much everything sucks. Can't get away from them I guess.

So it isn't great but it keeps me from literally clawing my skin off or smashing my dishes. Only 6 days left until I can run again...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:40 PM on January 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

I am an inveterate sedentarian, I hate exercising and sweating. I don't have a spouse or housemate nor do I have or want a dog, so no external incentives to get out exist. For a while (pre-pandemic) I tried regularly walking around my neighborhood but got tired of the same old unexciting scenery and gave it up after a few weeks. After something like a year of no exercise at all I tried starting it up again, boredom notwithstanding; but the hills just killed me and I'm easily discouraged by inclement or hot weather.

So about two weeks ago I bought an inexpensive but decent stationary bicycle (can it be a "bicycle" if it doesn't have any wheels?) and set it up facing my TV so I can play scenic drive/bicycle/train videos while I pedal, and I've also got a fan pointed at me to avoid overheating. So far, except for one day when I wasn't feeling well, I've consistently gotten on it every other day and worked up to my target aerobic heart rate for 30 minutes at a time. No dramatic drops in weight or increase in energy yet, it's too soon for that, but my legs and glutes constantly feel well-exercised so I know it's doing me some definite good.

The nice thing is, although it doesn't get me out of the house and walking (yet), it is/will be a good alternative during bad winter and hot summer weather, and getting in better shape in the meantime will make it more likely for me to walk outside during the pleasant spring and fall months.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:52 PM on January 18, 2021 [14 favorites]

Every morning I get up, put on a pot of coffee and go for a walk around the neighborhood. No agenda, no plan and no time limit. Wherever my feet lead me. And when I eventually get back, I pour myself a cup and sit down at the computer...
posted by jim in austin at 4:49 PM on January 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Walking is, honestly, the one silver lining of this pandemic that I’ve been able to find. I drive ten minutes to a woods preserve with trails and every weekday morning spend about 40 minutes hiking around. I started in September and then it got colder so I bought wool long underwear and better mittens and kept at it. January in Minnesota has been unusually mild so as long as it’s not dangerously frigid or too icy to walk, I’ve been able to go out.

It’s an urban forest so you can hear some traffic, but I’ve seen many deer, red squirrels, all sorts of birds, and an owl once silently glided past my head. There’s Norway pines that go up 80 or 100 feet and it’s nice to stand in them and look up and watch the snow drifting down. I plan to keep doing it even when I have more places to go.
posted by castlebravo at 6:57 PM on January 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

I'd love to do half of those things, but that list is pretty author's location-centric. Not a lot of foxes to watch where I live, and if you watch the chicken sized crows here for too long, they might take offense.

Winter in Chiba is pretty meh. No snow, and very windy and dry, with temps between 0 and 7 or 8 C. I've really fallen off my goal of 10,000 steps a day, partly because doing teaching from home means I'm just sitting in front of my computer all day, then trying to do all those steps at once. It's been a revelation just how long it takes to get 10,000 steps in (an hour and a half of walking at speed), and to some extent, that's a factor in the fall off.

As far as things to do on that walk, seriously, Pokemon Go is pretty great, and I'm sort of surprised it wasn't on the list. Far from being a thing where you walk around staring at your phone and ignoring the world around you, I'd say it's given me a much better view of my area. It gives real world locations that are usually tied to something interesting (there are shrines in my neighborhood I never knew about or visited before playing the game), and those can be great as a goal of a place to walk to.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:05 PM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

So about two weeks ago I bought an inexpensive but decent stationary bicycle

I just realized I forgot to add a note that changing into workout clothes, getting on the bike, and going the full 30 minutes still requires me to make a disciplined mental choice every single time. I don't expect that to ever go away, BUT I think it's an achievable choice I can consistently make without dread of the effort overcoming my will to keep it up. That's a solid success as far as I'm concerned.

(And maybe someday, in the fullness of time, exercise will come to be something I actually look forward to...yeah right.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:54 PM on January 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

#24 join the metafilter team on strava and get kudos from your fellow mefis and whatever activity you manage to do
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:59 PM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

I realllly want to take my cat outside for walks in a little catpram. He likes the outside well enough in his carrier when I take him to the vet, but a pram would be much more interactive. Also he is heavy / my arms are getting weak.

I am one of the people who still play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a Niantic game like Pokemon Go, and so sometimes, I have to go walk a portkey or get spell energy or get more ingredients so I can keep brewing potions. The game has adjusted to be playable from home since COVID, but it's a lot easier if you can go outside.

But my base motivation is that if I don't get some outside time every few days, sleeping becomes much harder, and then everything becomes much harder. I don't make myself walk every day.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:22 PM on January 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Ghidorah: I'd love to do half of those things, but that list is pretty author's location-centric.

Of course it is. So is most of MetaFilter. But it's easier to notice when it doesn't overlap with the reader's location.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:00 AM on January 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

According to my tracking gadget, I'm about 450-some days into a streak of completing a minimum of 30 minutes' exercise every day, primarily via walking since I can no longer use the pool at the rec center (which also involved walking, I suppose, to get to the facility) and some days it's only deliberately nursing the sunk-cost fallacy ("you don't want to break your streak and have to start OVER, do you?") that keeps me going. Because this has been a hard year to stick to a daily commitment.

I know I'm lucky to live in a place where I can be outdoors with low risk of encountering other people and low odds of exposure to covid.. Really lucky. And when things are more clement it's a joy to walk around here.

However our weather, which is generally terrible this time of year, has been exceptionally terrible since summer (which set rainfall records for the summer months), through fall (evacuations in a part of town they thought might be destroyed had the dam above the town failed), and now winter gale after winter gale - last weekend a mature hemlock tree fell on my next-door neighbors' house (miraculously no injuries and surprisingly minor damage given the size of the tree..) and all week long I've been watching the metal roof on the vacant house down the hill from me. It's been coming loose from the structure below it and when the wind is blowing hard I see, in my peripheral vision, it rising from the house, warping, buckling, and separating at the seams. I've been wondering what the magic wind speed number is that would be necessary to turn it into wind-propelled sheet-metal blades and whether we'll reach that number before the owners find someone who is willing to risk going up on the roof to secure it before it blows.

Anyway.. it takes a bit of willpower to hunker down and walk a couple of miles every day in stinging, sideways, just-barely-above-freezing rain, coming down in the dark. Thank god for Goretex and audiobooks.
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:21 AM on January 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I try to take an outdoors walk most every day here in SE Iowa..definitely more with the plague times. The local lakes are now frozen (ice fishing guy bored a hole and said the ice is 7 inches thick) and the perspective of walking on the lake is awesome.
posted by JimDe at 4:19 AM on January 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was exercising a lot this summer by running from police every night, but as a photographer in Portland the wintertime can be downright miserable. I did a solid 15 miles last Wednesday and my legs are paying for it, as is my left foot, which I rolled in October and I think screwed up my Achilles’ tendon or something. Hoping to get out again soon. I am very big on psychogeography.
posted by gucci mane at 5:46 AM on January 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

Another person who's dog insists it must go outside the yard here.
I enjoy it, all year round, and I can't remember a time when I didn't. Today the weather is in-between frost and thaw, and it is incredibly slippery, so I haven't walked as much as I should. But I like to get out, feel the weather, smell the day.
posted by mumimor at 6:02 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

but that list is pretty author's location-centric.

If it's any consolation, the recommendation to walk in my former workplace's unmarked burial ground totally misses the mark, because it's the dullest possible walk you could take from that site.
posted by ambrosen at 6:07 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I realllly want to take my cat outside for walks in a little catpram.

"Alan Purring" is one of the best cat names ever and I salute you for it.

I've been trying to get at least a half-mile walk in every day, but it's tough--we live in a really hilly area, so I have to pace myself a bit or risk hurting something.

It's been especially bad the last few days, as we had a snowstorm which led to all of the local roads and sidewalks icing over, so walking was a bad idea. Now it's raining steadily and all the snow is melting off the hills, and there's a standing flood watch for the entire county. So yay. I think I'm going to get today's exercise by vacuuming the house. :P
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:40 AM on January 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

Honestly, I'm just doing laps around my apartment these days rather than going outside.

One of the reasons I'm moving back into working back in my office part-time is because the office is in this big shared-work space in an old warehouse, and there's this huge balcony/walkway type of thing running around the perimeter of the 2nd floor - so I can get up and do a lap once an hour. My boss joked that it looks like I'm "mall walking".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on January 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

My biggest obstacle to walking regularly--aside from work keeping my ass in my chair for 10-11 hours/day during the week, and laziness/ennui the rest of the time--is that I've seen everything in my neighborhood a million times in every direction for a half hour out. And I live near downtown D.C., so that walks in nature (Rock Creek Park is too urban where I am) are too far to get to and wildlife-/bird-watching possibilities are limited. I walk bc I have to, but I deeply envy those who live within easy reach of a woodland area.
posted by the sobsister at 9:23 AM on January 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yeah there's not much to see by me except the houses of the undeserving and highly edible wealthy. It does get the heart rate up, I suppose, to walk 4 miles and think of nothing but revolution.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:36 AM on January 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

Like Ghidorah said, Pokemon Go (and its poor relation Wizards Unite) are great walking companions. Pokemon Go includes very good trail maps in our local parks, so it's handy to go on hikes with it.

Another good excuse for us to walk is to take our kid to school on foot. It's about 15 minutes one-way, and even though her previous school was an easy 7 minute car ride, it has made a big difference to have the new school just a bit closer and more walking friendly en route.
posted by of strange foe at 10:44 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

What if it's a blazing hot summer?

This is my problem for much of the year. It's winter where I am now, which means 60 F and clear skies, so I am dog walking and getting out sometimes on the weekend, because I like cool and cold weather.

But this past summer I never left the hour at all - we had record heat and every day over 100, and if I walked the dogs, I got a migraine from the heat and sun every time. I just hate hot weather so much and I didn't have the energy to figure out how to get exercise outside during the pandemic when leaving the house was like stepping into a blast oven.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 1:03 PM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah summer was brutal here, and has been getting noticeably worse. I've never seen the weather reports mentioning Wet Bulb Temp here before, but during our heatwave in August, it was part of every newscast. Updates from the school I teach at talked about the heat and whether sports club practices would be allowed to happen outdoors each day. I mean, the temps rarely broke 95f, but the humidity in the Tokyo area will suck the life from you. Not conducive to two hour walks.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:50 PM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yay! Second 10-minute walk in as many days! Thanks, Obama MeFites!
posted by darkstar at 2:53 PM on January 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

This weekend I finally went to a National Wildlife Refuge that's been just an hour's drive away for 20 years. Went for a walk in the woods. I saw tons of ducks, Canadian geese, and snow geese. And about 50 meters from where I parked there was a red-tailed hawk sitting on a fence post. I spent 15 minutes watching him through my binoculars.
posted by neuron at 9:27 PM on January 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

Few local Geocache maintainers have taken their caches offline for the duration of the pandemic. Argument being that touching things is not a good idea right now.

As well as Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite, I'd suggest the grand-daddy of the Niantic games: Ingress.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:51 AM on January 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I think I need to put on my boots and go for a walk in the park today. We got about 2 inches of snow overnight.
posted by kathrynm at 9:03 AM on January 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

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