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POUND BY POUND: Take a Hike!

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When I took on the Pound By Pound Pledge Drive, my goal was not only to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and lose weight, but to make healthy living a part of my regular lifestyle. I didn’t just want to do all this stuff to lose 100 pounds only to go back to whatever I was doing before. I wanted to change my habits for good! So, when I seek out exercise, I seek out things that 1) offer me variety (I won’t stick with stuff if I’m bored) and 2) that I genuinely enjoy doing.

When I moved to Los Angeles in September 2011, one of the first things I loved about this city was that nature was so easily accessible! Unlike New York City, where you have to drive/take a train a couple of hours to get to some quality hiking, in Los Angeles it’s within walking distance! Or at least a quick hop in the car.

Me, Heather, and Leah

I knew that hiking would be a huge part of my Pound By Pound effort, so to keep myself engaged, I’ve decided to create a bi-monthly event called Teresa’s Hike & Brunch! Every other week, I choose a different hiking trail in L.A. We meet at the appointed time, we hike, we brunch afterwards! It’s a great way to not only stay in shape, but also to stay in touch with friends I don’t see nearly enough. I’m also kept accountable, because I never know who, if anyone, is coming. So, I have to show up, no matter what, and if it turns out that no one comes that particular weekend, then I do the hike alone! There’s something to be said for a peaceful, quiet walk up a beautiful hillside.

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I’ve become addicted to going outside and climbing up and down hills in the sunshine! Is it difficult, especially for someone who’s not used to moving around much at all? Sometimes. But it’s also worth it, and not as difficult as you might think! As a wise man named Demitri Martin once said, “Hiking is walking where it’s OK to pee.” If you think about that without the second half of that sentence, you get to the real point. Hiking is walking – so don’t be intimidated just because you’re walking at an incline! It’s something you can do at your own pace, choosing trails that are easy, moderate, or difficult, depending on your fitness level, and it’s great for your health not only because it increases your heart rate and builds up the muscles in your arms and legs (as well as your endurance!), but it also gets you outside for some natural Vitamin D!

And oh, the pretty scenery!

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If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’d love for you to join me for Teresa’s Hike & Brunch some weekend! Check out these videos from previous hikes (and subscribe to my YouTube channel for future videos!), then sign up at the Facebook event page! I’ll see you on the trail!

Runyon Canyon:

Wilacre Park:

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About Teresa Jusino

Teresa Jusino is an East Coast transplant who currently lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her pop culture criticism has been featured on websites like Tor.com, GirlGamer.com, Al Dia, ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. 2012 saw Teresa’s work appear in two Doctor Who anthologies: Chicks Unravel Time (Mad Norwegian Press) and Outside In (ATB Publishing), and she was also published in Mad Norwegian’s Whedonistas. Her fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres, and she is currently working on two new anthology projects that will be released in late 2013/early 2014, as well as scripts with which she hopes to take the television industry by storm!