“8 Reasons to Walk” by Joan Y. Edwards
This is my third in a series of blogs on goals.. This article is about goals that will help your physical and mental health. Here are three suggestions:
- Get a physical examination.
- Eat healthy.
- Walk, dance, garden, play a sport, or clean house for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes every day.
When I was a kid, I played outside for hours at a time. I jumped rope, even double-dutch. I played hopscotch on every conceivable design know to humanity. It was fun to play hide and seek and kick the can. I played pitcher for both neighborhood teams in softball because batting and running weren’t my strong suits.
We didn’t know the evils of the sun then or perhaps the ozone layer hadn’t been destroyed at that time. My point is we were active. In 1947 television had just been invented. We had the only television in the neighborhood. Mother put us out the door and wouldn’t let us in except for lunch, supper, or chores.
As a teacher for 35 years, I moved around in the classroom, taught students various skills in physical education. I lugged a bunch of books here and there. Great physical exercise. When I cared for my mother, I moved around a good bit. Somehow I lost my enthusiasm for walking. I cannot tell you why or how. Here are my unlimited and abundant excuses not to walk:
- I don’t want to wear out my shoes.
- I’m too tired.
- I’ve got better things to do.
- It’s too cold.
- It’s too hot.
- It’s raining.
- I’ve got to do the laundry.
- I’m not in the mood to walk.
- I’m afraid to walk in certain places.
- and on, and on, and on.
I used to do country western dancing and stay out until really late dancing the night away. I love dancing still but the people I hung out with then, aren’t there any more. One year I walked and took pictures along my walk. I started thinking about the people in my neighborhood might not want pictures taken of their homes, a privacy thing.
One year I read a book about walking. It said to begin by walking in one direction for 10 minutes and then walk back. I found a site that says the same thing: http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html.
I think the program called Fuel Up to Play 60 for school aged children is awesome. The National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA started it: http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/. It empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes to eat right and play for an hour a day. Whole schools take part in this program. Students can win cool prizes, like an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets.
I thought maybe I could try again to motivate myself to make a small change and walk more. Here’s what I’m already doing:
- I park my car at the farthest parking space from most of the places I shop.
- When I’m at the mall, I walk up the mall and back.
- I walk inside the house when I talk on the phone with anyone.
Money motivates me. Does money motivate you? How much will it take to motivate you? Put money in a jar. Set a goal of how much you have to walk to get it out of the jar. Or do it this way, each day that you walk at least 10 minutes, put a dime, a quarter, or a dollar in a jar. If you walk for 100 days, you’ll have enough money to buy something to celebrate your accomplishment.
Possible Goals for Walking
- Walk 7 minutes for 7 days.
- Walk 10 minutes for 10 days.
- Walk 15 minutes for 15 days.
- Walk 20 minutes for 20 days.
- Walk 30 minutes for 30 days.
Design your own rewards.
- If you walk 15 minutes for 7 days, get a manicure or pedicure.
- If you walk 15 minutes for 2 weeks, buy tickets for a play or sports game.
- If you walk 15 minutes for 3 weeks, buy a new book.
- If you walk 15 minutes for a month, buy yourself a new dress or sports shirt and cap.
Here are 8 Benefits of Walking:
- Walking Helps You Solve Problems. Choose a problem in your story. Walk to find a solution. http://wspt.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/to-find-a-problem-walk-around-to-solve-a-problem-walk-around-some-more/
- Walking Increases Creativity:
- Walkers Live Longer http://walking.about.com/od/beginners/tp/startwalking.htm
- Healthy heart: Regular walking lowers cholesterol levels, prevents high blood pressure, and wards off heart disease and other diseases, too.
- Reduces risk of Diabetes: Regular walking reduces your risk of developing diabetes and strengthens your body’s ability to process sugar, and lower blood sugar.
- Lowers Body Fat: Regular walking prevents weight gain and decrease the levels of body fat. For example, middle-aged women who walk more than 10,000 steps a day have lower levels of body fat than do women who are less active.
- Boosts Spirits: Regular walking helps you manage stress effectively and boosts your spirits.
- Increases Strength and Endurance: Walking improves your physical strength and endurance levels. It also helps your body’s immune system ward off infections.
Keep a chart to keep you accountable and show proof for your rewards.
- Chart for one week:
If you buy a pedometer, it will keep track of the number of steps you take each day. They say 10,000 steps is good. That’s five miles. If you walk 2,000 steps, that’s one mile. To begin, you can start with 1,000 steps. A half mile. You might get revved up once you’re out there and forget all about the time.
Thank you for reading my blog. I thought we could help each other out here. Each day that you walk for 15 minutes, leave a comment below. We’ll cheer each other on.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Thank you to the 8 people who took time out of their busy days to post a review of my picture book, Flip Flap Floodle for me on Amazon. See the reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/.
P.S. I walked 15 minutes on the day yesterday after I posted this. Then I walked this morning for 15 minutes before I turned on the computer. I may have figured out a plan that works for me. Hip Hip Hooray.
Enjoy being you. Celebrate. Walk.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors
- The Daily Walk (psychologytoday.com)