“All walking is discovery. On foot we take the time to see things whole.” -Hal Borland
I love to walk, especially in the early mornings on a beautiful day with my dog, Buddy. Walking is my favorite way to get my daily exercise. I do not listen to music when I am walking, rather I love to hear the sound of the birds and the rustle of leaves from a gentle breeze. I talk with my dog. I talk to God. This is my peaceful, therapeutic time just for me.
- It reduces your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke
- It lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes
- It lowers high blood pressure (hypertension)
- It protects against falling and bone fractures in older adults
- It may help protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer
- It increases the number of calories your body uses, which helps to control your weight
- It helps control joint swelling and pain from arthritis.
- Helps keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy
- Reduces anxiety and depression, boosting your mood
- Helps you handle stress
- Helps you feel more energetic
- Helps you sleep better
- Improves your self-esteem
- Gives you an opportunity to socialize actively with friends and family.
This is my favorite walking partner, Buddy, as a puppy four years ago:
Pretty cute, huh?
Unbelievably, this little guy walks me! During our walks we engage in a variety of walking from stopping for potty moments, leisure walking and definitely brisk walking. Our usual walking dates are about 45 minutes.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes with a lot of support, including proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick, flexible soles that will cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk frequently, you may need to buy new shoes often. You may wish to speak with a podiatrist about when you need to purchase new walking shoes.
- Wear garments that prevent inner-thigh chafing, such as tights or spandex shorts. Also wear clothes that will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for synthetic fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
Make walking fun by walking with a friend, family member or pet. Walk in places you enjoy, like a park or shopping mall. Scenery makes a walk joyous and refreshing.
- Choose a safe place to walk. Find a partner or group of people to walk with you.
Wear a knit cap in winter for extra warmth. To stay cool in summer, wear a baseball cap or visor.
Think of your walk in three parts. Warm up by walking slowly for five minutes. Then increase your speed and do a fast walk. Finally, cool down by walking slowly again for five minutes.
Do light stretching before and after your walks to warm-up, loosen up and cool-down.
Try to walk at least three times per week. Each week, add two or three minutes to your walk. If you walk fewer than three times per week, you may need more time to adjust before you increase the pace or frequency of your walk.
Start gradually to avoid stiff or sore muscles and joints. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going farther, and walking for longer periods of time.
Set goals and rewards. Some examples of goals are participating in a fun walk or walking continuously for 30 minutes.
Keep track of your progress with a walking journal or log.
This is Buddy. He is my dog. He is now four years old. Full grown he weighs 6 pounds even. No ounces. Buddy is half Chihuahua (his father) and half Maltese (his mother). He survived the Parvovirus as a puppy when he weighed only 1 pound, 8 ounces. He fought for his life at 1 pound, 2 ounces. He lived because of much prayer and great love. Truly, he is a living miracle.
I just wanted to share with you one of the most precious things in my life! He is my daily therapy, my inspiration, my joy.
Keep Choosing Consistency and pet a puppy today,