health

Challenge: A little less indoors, a little more outdoors.

‘I forget how much I adore the feel of sunshine on bare shoulders’.

By NATALIA HAWK

Last Saturday morning, my friend called and suggested that we go and do the coastal walk the next day, on the Sunday.

I agreed. I love the coastal walk. It stretches all the way from Bondi to Coogee, stopping along hidden beaches and edging along daring cliff-faces. But I haven’t done it since… maybe… January?

You know how it is – you have such great intentions, and then life gets in the way. Instead of the coastal walk – I had assignments to do. I had work to do. I had friends to catch up with, and they wanted to have fajitas and margaritas in a restaurant somewhere instead of venturing out. I had family to look after. I had movies to watch and books to read and TV series to catch up on.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Blackmores. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

And even last Sunday morning, as the alarm clock beeped merrily away, I found myself lying in bed contemplating excuses to bail out of the walk and stay fast asleep.

‘It’s all too easy to stay in bed, wasting the day away’.

It’s too cold. (It was 20 degrees.)

It’s too far to drive. (It’s a 15 minute drive.)

It’s too hard to park near the beach. (Even Bondi has car parks at 8am.)

I went to bed too late last night, I deserve a sleep in. (It wasn’t that late. Calm down.)

My leg kind of hurts. (I know. I am pathetic at 8am.)

But I felt bad for my friend, and so I dragged myself out of bed, dressed myself somewhat-presentably, and was at Bondi Pavilion at the agreed time.

It was cloudy, but that made it the perfect temperature – warm enough, but without the sun beating down on your shoulders. Everyone was already out and about, enjoying the morning, holding coffees as they led prams down the promenade. The kite festival was on, and as I watched the waves, coloured birds and octopi and even whales fluttered in the breeze above the sand, rising up to greet the hidden sun.

My friend turned up. We walked along the cliff tops. We laughed and made plans for the summer. We stopped at Clovelly to stretch and watched a surfing competition underway, teams of boys with their wetsuits zipped up to their necks, dashing into the water and fighting the waves. We strolled back to Bondi and got juices and said our goodbyes and I didn’t regret a moment of the morning.

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I love my job, and I love my uni degree, but the great majority of the time – they both keep me indoors. In classrooms, in offices, at home, in front of my computer screen all the time. And when I’m not working or studying – it’s all too easy to stay in bed, wasting the day away, claiming that I’m “relaxing” when I’m really just being incredibly lazy.

I forget how much I’m actually missing out on. I forget about the coastal walk. I forget about how much I love Centennial Park, with its muddle of lakes and grass and perfect picnic spots. I forget how much I adore the feel of sunshine on bare shoulders as I stand knee-deep in water at the local sailing club, watching dad attempt to sail our dinghy. I forget how much I love the great outdoor in general. As cliché as it sounds, there are so many fantastic places out there, just waiting to be discovered. And I’m never going to see them if I spend all my time in my bed, watching Breaking Bad.

That’s why my Blackmores pledge is: Less indoors, more outdoors. I’m going to take up paddleboarding (I know, laugh it up, I’m already laughing too) and I’m going to start doing beach runs in the mornings. I’m going to suggest walks in the park instead of fajitas (well, maybe we can have fajitas in the park. There’s a fair compromise).

And I’m going to spend much more quality time with the coastal walk. I know it’ll be happy to see me, bright and early on a Sunday morning.

Despite our best intentions, particularly in the colder months, staying active and healthy isn’t easy. We aim to give up chocolate, abandon alcohol and promise to visit the gym four times a week, only to fail. A Little Less, A Little More reminding people that making small commitments is a much more achievable and sustainable way of living a balanced lifestyle. What will you do? Make a commitment here, challenge your friends, upload your pics and follow us at #littlelesslittlemore on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram

Last week Rosie committed to ‘A little less catching the bus and a little more riding my bike.  This week Nat is pledging to ‘A little less indoors, a little more outdoors’.

What will your ‘little less, little more’  commitment be this week?

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