Those were the words of my father on his Facebook page when he was 89 years old! He lived to be 91 but he should’ve lived even longer than that considering the excellent health he was in. If any of you have followed my posts for the past 20 days, you’ll recall a post about ‘Harboring Resentment” about my father and his death. That’s an entirely different story.
So let’s get back to “Walking”.
Myself; my father; and his father before him “my grandfather” all made a definitive practice of walking miles and miles daily for many years. Even my grandfather lived to be 91 years old! So this walking that we do must have some merit – along with diet – eating healthy – who could ask for more?
Regular walking, like most aerobic activities, is good for you because cardio-vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness.
Together with a proper diet and other exercise plans, it can also help with weight loss and tone up muscles. And it also helps boost circulation.
Power-walking – keeping a brisk pace at moderate to high intensity – can burn the same amount of calories as jogging or running. So it is useful for helping with weight loss.
Because it is low impact, it does not have the same potential for injury as jogging. Yet it can offer all the benefits.
Walking helps to drain the lower legs of excess fluid and can help prevent varicose veins through the pumping action of the calf muscles
The increased supply of oxygen exercise promotes also gets rid of the waste products in the tissues. And because more people are able to walk at a consistent speed than run, it is a more beneficial form of tissue-cleansing, particularly for the over-50s, for whom jogging can actually cause more problems.
Walking is also better for the spine than running, as it puts less stress on the discs. Yet we were designed for constant movement, not sitting in cars or in front of computers, which causes negative pressures on our spinal cord.
Regular walking is excellent for spinal discs, which receive minerals and vitamins through the pumping action it causes.
And the best thing is that you can see results from walking reasonably quickly – although it depends on each person’s individual level of fitness, age and how often and fast they are walking.
There are also psychological benefits to walking. And this is my favorite of all the benefits of walking that I use the most – When you walk, just like any other form of exercise, your body has a chemical release of serotonin, the natural feelgood chemical.
And the absolute best of all is that there is also the release of endorphins, which are happy hormones, which is why people feel on a natural high at the end of an exercise session. Remembering how you feel should be an incentive for you to keep it up.
What I have found is that linking up with a ‘walking buddy’ is another healthy part of a walking exercise.
If you have a commitment to meet a friend for that walk, you are less likely to cancel. Whereas if you are planning to walk on your own, it is often easier to make excuses and put it off.
Let’s face it – think about this for a moment – we drive around a crowded mall parking lot for 15 minutes to find a close parking space just so that we can go to the Mall and walk around for 2 hours! Completely twisted in a sense. Why not park further away and let that be your start to your walking regime at the mall?
Climb the stairs whenever you can and don’t take the elevator. When I was a basketball coach; I used the stairs as a conditioning tool for my players. It’s probably even better to get that type of exercise than just regular walking routines. And very invigorating as well.
Walk your way to a more healthy lifestyle.