Sunday, May 31, 2020

Take a Walk!

What is your favorite form of exercise? One of my favorites is walking. Whether it's walking along the seashore or in the woods, I love to walk! Enjoy the memories and photos.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to walk. Early memories include walking with my mom to get water from the well. We lived near the woods, and I loved to walk on those well-worn paths with my family. I walked with my dad to cut those "Charlie Brown" Christmas trees that he was good at finding. At Grandma's, I would walk on the little-used dirt road with my older sister, Karen, and Aunt Linda. Sometimes we walked up in the hills together.

As I got a little older, I would take my younger brothers for a walk. This really felt like "big stuff" to be the one in charge! 

Jump ahead several years, and I was walking along the beach while vacationing with my husband, Charlie. A few years later, I was taking my boys for walks. Sometimes if we just need a few grocery items, we would pull a wagon and walk to the nearby grocery store. It was always more fun walking down the hill than it was walking back up! Other times, Charlie and I would take the boys for long walks in the woods. How I cherish those memories!

When we moved to Louisiana, I really missed those country walks. There was not nearly enough mild weather there for regular walking; it was too hot and humid most of the time, so I mainly stayed inside. I bought a treadmill, but I found out quickly that I am just not a fan of walking indoors. I would tape shows that aired during the day to watch while I was walking, but it just wasn't as satisfying as walking outside. I bought several Leslie Sansone Walk at Home Videos, and that worked somewhat, but I yearned to be walking outside. 

I really enjoyed visiting West Virginia and walking in the hollow where Dad lived. I loved the coolness of the trees and the trickling sounds of the creek, along with the singing birds and other nature sounds.

When we moved to the northeast, I sold the treadmill. By that time, its main use was to hang beach towels or wet towels on, anyway. I was so happy with the dream come true that I would soon be walking outside again. 

My favorite outdoor Reeboks!

Now most days, I walk "laps" around the edge of the woods. I walk all seasons, weather permitting. 

Walking back home in Springtime

It's Springtime!
A Fall Walk

Spider Lilies in Autumn
Impatiens and Periwinkle in Summer

I like to walk in a misty rain, and sometimes when there's snowflakes. If it's around 30 degrees up to the 70s, you can usually find me walking in the mornings. I never wear headphones, because I love the sounds of nature. I like to pray for others, sort my thoughts, and sing. My regular songs are some church camp favorites: "Morning Has Broken" and "Pass It On!". When I was going through a rough time, I added "No Longer Slaves" to my list. When troubled, I sometimes sing, "Thank you Lord, for your Blessings on me!" Also, I occasionally sing Vacation Bible School favorites like "When Your Fear Grows Mountain High".

When my husband is with me, we walk into the woods, sometimes with other family members. This spring, we did several "Molly Moocher Hunts". 

Molly Moocher!
Our woods in Spring

Strange roots!

Sometimes, I walk laps indoors, but it's not nearly as much fun!

I have dealt with circumstances when I couldn't do my fitness walks, and I really missed it. At one point, I had complications following a broken foot and ankle and was not allowed to walk. I was between wheelchair and crutches for 4-1/2 months. Ironically, my husband was in ICU due to another accident, and was in much worse shape than me. I remember sitting at the hospital and watching others walk and wondering, "Do they know how lucky they are to be walking?" During another health crisis, I was not allowed to do workouts for 8 months. When allowed, I was told I could start walking again. The doctor said what I had heard so many times before: "Walking is the safest form of exercise!" He said, "Don't overdo it", and, "Sit down!" when I'm tired.

According to me, here's why walking is the perfect form of exercise:

  • There's little chance of injury.
  • You can walk alone or with a group.
  • Walking is adaptable for any age.
  • There's no scheduling or practices involved.
  • There's no admission charge.
  • You can vary your speed from a leisurely walk to cardio.
  • There's no special equipment involved!
  • It can really lift my mood!
  • It helps my tummy troubles. When I'm having a tummy episode, drinking water and walking makes me feel like a new woman!
  • I love how walking makes me feel during and after the walk. I feel strong. I am strong!
  • Walking can be done wherever you are! When in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, I climbed Diamond Head, a volcanic crater! I also hiked in beautiful Waimea Valley. It was such a thrill!

How do I stay motivated?

Honestly, walking is such a habit that it feels "strange" if I don't walk! I sometimes tell others that my Fitbit helps to keep me motivated. I previously had a device that counted my steps, but at times it wasn't reliable. It suggested that 7,000 steps daily was adequate, while Fitbit goes along with the American Heart Association recommendation - 10,000 steps/day. On my birthday, Fitbit sent me a message that most Fitbit users my age average around 7,000 steps/day. I am happy to say that I average many more! I have "upped" my steps this Spring and have averaged over 90,000 steps/week the last 3 weeks! I am very thankful that my fitness level has improved, and I hope the trend continues. I also record my walks in my fitness journal.

So if you need a mild form of exercise or cardio, a mood-lifter, if you want to experience nature, or simply have a great start to your day, take a walk!

Our Log Home in the Woods!

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