Pathway to Fearlessness: Walking

I’m still pondering how I got to be so fearless all of a sudden. Did I suddenly become a wise crone when I turned 60? I doubt it. A lot of things I do contributed to it. Now, I know everyone attains their wisdom and maturity differently, but I also know that I learn a lot when I read about other people’s journeys (probably why I like blogs so much, now that Facebook no longer has as many interesting personal updates). Memes schmemes.

So, I’ll be sharing what’s worked for me over the next few days or weeks, and you are welcome to take what works for you and leave the rest, as we used to tell mothers at La Leche League meetings.

Let’s take a walk

I can remember thinking I was a slothlike slug, because I never was very good at vigorous exercise. I sure was over-generalizing! Looking back, I see that I was, and still am, a big walker. I walked miles and miles while I was getting my university degrees. I have strong memories of exactly how far it was from the Foreign Language Building to the Engineering building on the University of Illinois campus, especially when it was below zero outside.

Then I had kids. Walk walk walk (also a lot of bike rides). Walking on trails. Walking at football stadiums. Walking.

I can see this path from my window at work. I usually walk around the whole complex, which takes a half hour, or walk this over and over (many lovely birds here). When it is raining, I can always walk all the way up the parking garage and back!

Then I started working in office buildings. The only way I can survive is to take a walk most days. That’s where I do my best thinking and pound away my concerns.

And of course, That Darned Watch keeps track of everything I do. I never hit the green goal, though. I have to swing my left arm like crazy, and that one usually holds the dog leash.

I always feel better after a walk. And I now know I’m not just making it up. Walking is a GREAT form of exercise that doesn’t kill your knees and joints. Look at what these Canadians in Victoria say about walking:

You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:

* increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness

* reduced risk of heart disease and stroke

* improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes

* stronger bones and improved balance

* increased muscle strength and endurance

* reduced body fat.

Walking for Good Health

And it’s so easy to go slow when you aren’t feeling great and go fast when you have energy. I have lots of fun hills at the Austin house that are just like a treadmill, only with scenery. Plus, how many acres of ranch do I have to walk in? Lots.

I am always very well behaved, and never jump higher than a four-year-old. Not me.

If you have a dog, you get bonus doggie fun time and good exercise bending over to pick up anything your dog produces. Bending over is very good for you. And stopping the dog from over enthusiastically greeting people is strength training!

If you don’t walk much, think about it. No matter where you are, you can walk. And if you can’t walk, you can at least move around. You are not a sloth or a slug if you aren’t running 5 miles a day; you are a person keeping your body AND your mind healthy.

Tell me about YOUR walks!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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