Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can walking solve all your problems?

Probably not, but this activity has a LOT to offer! For a 64 yr. old woman who's been walking nearly every day for 2½ years, I've got the tightest buns you could ask for! LOL! Of course, I was blessed with beautiful bum genes to begin with, but with everything else falling, dropping, collapsing and hanging, I am happy to announce that walking has given me buns of, well if not steel at least semi-hard rubber? A mostly inflated basketball? You be the judge! LOL! 


As for the other benefits of my daily walks they are: 


Physical....I don't know how I lived so many years without walking, but even though I was very sedentary and very overweight, I could not get myself out there on a regular basis. And when I did, it was maybe 10 minutes because my back hurt so much and I was out of breath very quickly. I was in the process of trying to get in the habit of walking every day when I found out I had diabetes. I didn't need any further motivation. 


At that point I was going to walk! As most of you who follow this blog know, I lost 53 lbs in less than a year and walking (along with eating a low carb diet) has become a daily habit. I was scared NOT to walk after reading up on diabetes, so I used the time to work my stomach muscles and clench my butt muscles with each step. Eventually, I could actually see and feel an improvement.


Other physical benefits have been to help with my arthritis and increasing my bone density, improving my breathing, lowering my blood pressure and by losing weight, my knees don't hurt anymore!


Emotionally.....When I reached day 30 of walking, I can't tell you how proud I was of myself! I almost couldn't believe it and by that day I was walking a whole MILE! Remember, I was 61 yrs old when I finally started doing something for my health.  I felt shameful during the years before when I KNEW I had to do something, but couldn't stick to any kind of routine or get out of my rut. It sounds crazy, but getting diabetes probably saved my life.


I can start out in the morning in a very poor mood, even feeling depressed, and once I've got my walking shoes on and I'm out the door, I feel better about myself and about the world we live in! I've read that..... "Walking 30 minutes a day boosted the moods in depressed patients faster than antidepressants research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found. Walking releases endorphins increasing your mood and decreasing pain."


Spiritual.... there's something about nature that calms me and reassures me that I'm not all alone with my problems. Even if you don't have a beautiful place to walk (like I do),
 there's still the beauty of the sky, the trees, even the air around you can bring on a feeling of peace and serenity. That's how I felt in CA the few times I was there and I've never forgotten it.


Fortunately, I live right across the street from a nature trail so I've been able to see and hear a variety of wildlife on my walks. The anticipation of getting a glimpse of any of God's creatures has given me the motivation to get out there very early in the mornings when it is especially quiet and peaceful. Perfect time to pray and I've done plenty of that in the last 2 years.


Social..... I had become a bit of a recluse in the past 18 years. Not a TRUE recluse, but just not getting out to meet new people. I've spent all my time working on the computer and going to my grandkids' sports events, so with all the people who also use the trail for exercise and enjoyment, I've been forced to be a bit more social! I would say it has brought me out of my shell and it's nice to get to know people by name, stop and chat a little and pet their dogs. :)  




So I guess I wouldn't expect for walking to solve all my problems, but it sure gives me plenty of reasons to keep on doing it! And the #1 reason I will keep on doing it? Taking pictures! :)  AND to keep my butt in shape!


Other resources for walking:
     http://www.arthritistoday.org/fitness/walking/tips-and-strategies/mental-benefits-of-walking.php
      http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongfitness/a/exercise_mood.htm

6 comments:

  1. This post was inspiring. I need to start walking. I'm almost 68 and overweight! But I can't stand the heat. It needs to get cooler around here!

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  2. Thanks, Eva.... the only way I can keep doing my walks in the summer is to go very early in the morning and late in the evening. I probably won't go this evening because I don't think it's going to cool off. I take my camera so I can get sunrise pictures too! :) I had to change my whole morning routine when I first started because it was so hard to get myself out the door and then my back hurt very badly, but if you can do even a 10 min. walk every morning before the sun gets hot, you will be so encouraged to do it the next day and the next day......
    All my best to you,
    Dee

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  3. Eva, my favorite piece of furniture is my treadmill! My neighborhood turned dangerous so I turned to Nordic Track. It's been two years of nearly every day use now and I've never felt better, regardless of the usual getting older stuff that bothers us all...

    My liver doctor says that it's the best thing we can do for ourselves and I quite agree!

    Dee, I always loved seeing your morning picture on FB! :D

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  4. Great idea, Pam! I haven't been able to afford one, but last winter when it got too icy to walk, I did go to a local gym and used the treadmill. It took me awhile to get used to it since I have motion sickness! LOL! I only went about 5 times so it was a waste of money for me, but my point is that I didn't want to miss my walking! Again, a new me that developed once I got over the initial avoidance!

    I'm still posting pics, just not always morning ones! :) My next goal is to post here on the blog every day! I think I'll post here BEFORE Facebook...that might work. I swear, it's so hard to make changes once we've been doing something a certain way for a long time!

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  5. That would work for me, because it's hard to find stuff on FB, especially because I'm not there much... but I've got this RSS feed, so whenever you post, it hits my Reader! Cool stuff, technology. :D

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  6. Wonderful Dee! Congratulations! I need a little help in the motivation department, that is for sure. Why? Who knows. I am physically working in the yard, at our home, taking care of the garden and animals every day from dawn until dusk...I even walk my dogs twice daily,but nothing for myself. I think that is what walking is.... Personal fulfillment. I need that in my old age. :O)

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