Physical fitness and increased health are not the only payoffs of starting and maintaining a lifelong fitness walking program. Various types of aerobic exercise, including walking, have also been found to promote mental health — boosting energy, improving sleep, relieving tension and stress, and combating anxiety and depression. Mastering a walking program can give you the true sense of accomplishment that comes from doing something good for your body. A few years ago, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) convened a panel to examine the effects of exercise on mental health. The panel noted a real, proven link between physical fitness and mental health and well-being. Exercise was deemed generally beneficial for the emotional health of people of all ages and both sexes. Many people suffer from a type of chronic fatigue that isn’t caused by illness or disease. They endure the blahs during the day and then toss and turn at night — only to wake up the next morning feeling groggy and drained.
It’s far enough away from the crowds so you can get a decent night’s sleep whenever you decide to roll in. 2006 ACVB Photo Looking for some fun? You can’t go wrong on Sixth Street. The Lucky Lounge (209 West 5th St) is the spot to catch a set of one of the early bands (music starts at 8 pm). Cross over to 6th Street and from there the sky’s the limit: try the ultra-cool Molotov Lounge (719 West Sixth) with its actual ice bar and premium vodkas, or grab a beer at Shakespeare’s Pub (314 East Sixth). End the night dancing at Agave (415 East Sixth), with its raised dance floor and, of course, specialty tequilas. 2 days: Spend the day at Volente Beach on Lake Travis (RM 2222 and Volente Road), where you’ll have everything you need for a day on the water. Before you head out, enjoy breakfast at Kerbey Lane (2606 Guadalupe). Open 24 hours and known for great breakfasts and vegetarian specialties, it’s a great place to fuel up for the day.
One has to wonder, is yoga kickboxing or disco yoga the pathway to Zen? One weird form of yoga gaining headlines is AntiGravity Yoga, offered at Crunch. In this yoga class, yogis and yoginis practice inverted poses with the help of a fabric hammock hung from the ceiling. If you don’t mind your yoga on the alternative side, then you might be up for the type of yoga discussed on the next page. Yoga instructor Brenda Bryan helps her pup into a pose. Most dogs get their exercise by chasing chew toys in the backyard or on regular walks with their owners. But if you want your dog to get a little more cardio, then you can buy a dog treadmill or send the pooch off to doggy bootcamp. You may find yourself getting a workout as well; at Thank Dog! If your dog is more mellow, then you both may enjoy doga, which is yoga for dogs.
Riders must be 12 and older; reservations are recommended. Give your feet a rest and kick back on the Hill Country Flyer (610 Brazos) for a leisurely train ride through Austin and the surrounding Hill Country. Choose between a coach (authentic 1920s rail car) and lounge (more modern cars with complimentary snacks and soft drinks) car, and enjoy the ride. Believe in ghosts? Austin Ghost Tours (617 Congress Ave), featured in USA Today, might make you think otherwise on its tour of Austin landmarks renowned for its ghosts, including the luxury Mobil Three-Star Driskill Hotel (604 Brazos St). The hotel you choose is a key part of a visit to any city. Austin hotels include the hip, the cool, the contemporary, and the luxurious. Can’t decide where to stay? Read our guide to Austin’s hotels on the next page. 2006 ACVB Photo/Hilton The Hilton Austin, conveniently located across the street from the Austin Convention Center, happy endings cupertino is one of the city’s newest hotels.