“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”
About 6 months ago, I embarked on a journey to regain my health. A more serious exercise than I had been engaged in previously. To get closer to my goals of healthy habits, and a healthy body, mind and spirit. I had already cleaned up my diet per my health provider. We had worked on an eating plan for me and my issues, which included no sugar….yes none…..and no refined carbs. And I committed myself to that diet which has certainly helped.
But I was lacking the needed push, to move me to the next level of healing. So my health provider said, ‘Let’s get you walking more.’ Now I have to preface this by saying I hate walking….especially walking alone. I find it boring, and if the weather is cold, hot, rainy, or snowy I won’t go. But he was adamant that walking would help. And not just taking a long walk when the mood hit. No he was looking for an even stronger commitment from me. I was to walk 3 times a day, 30 minutes after each meal.
Really?! Walk more. Yes, but I needed to start slow….10 minutes a walk was good place to start, especially since I tend to go all out and then end up with shin splints or knee issues from overdoing it the first day. And why 30 minutes after each meal? Because that is the opportune time to walk as your blood sugar is peaking then.
How The Journey Began
During the summer heat, I embarked on this walking journey. Sometimes alone, mostly in the beginning with my husband. In the cool of the morning and the heat of the afternoon, I walked over the same route around the neighborhood three times a day.
And I found my body acclimated quickly. I was increasing the distance and intervals to 20-30 minutes and more in no time. Even on vacation, we managed to get in 2 walks most days.
As the weather changed to rain and colder temps, I just changed my outdoor apparel and persevered. And yes I even walked in the dark….actually, for me, a favorite time of day to walk. Then the cold and snow hit in December, and I adjusted again putting on 2 and 3 layers and my old walking boots. I slogged through 3-4 inches of snow on the road as if I was gliding on cross-country skis….and I loved it.
Recently though with Arctic temps below zero, and fierce winds making the roads icy and the air dangerously cold, I have been relegated to my combo treadmill, elliptical, stepper machine which I hate. My knees don’t like the incline and oh it is sooooo booooring! But I still persevere on it for shorter stints, and go out sometimes once a day in the afternoon when temps are in the balmy 20s, and the streets are not covered in ice.
So What Have Been The Benefits
I discovered much on this journey including finding a healing miracle. I dropped 20 lbs, lowered my blood sugar by 30 points and felt increased energy and stamina. And there was also a residual benefit to all this walking, that was not just physical. My mental, emotional and spiritual health also improved.
I found I enjoyed walking alone, many times, as it was very meditative….slow and repetitive like deep breathing in and out. A stream of consciousness…thoughts flowing.
I had bursts of mental acuity that helped me see issues differently. My moods changed, and I felt more connected to nature experiencing first-hand the seasonal changes. And I got to know my neighborhood. Did I mention I am an introvert who doesn’t go out much? No, well I am, so walking in public where I might encounter people I don’t know was not appealing at first. Of course my neighbors got to know me better too. And the neighborhood dogs definitely got to know me. We have an understanding, and I enjoy seeing them as much as they enjoy barking at and greeting me.
Challenges, Yes I Had A Few
Challenges were many on this journey….mental, physical and seasonal…..the biggest was just psyching myself up to get out there everyday no matter what, especially during inclement weather. But I kept the benefits front and center…healing my whole self! Yes that mattered the most, the healing that was occurring.
I have to say the winter weather is slowing my progress, but I am not letting it get me down. I am still committed to this healing journey, and am adapting with it….now that’s another lesson I have learned as well! Not giving up, but accepting the challenge and finding a softer way to work through it and keep going.
And with my Word of the Year being,TEND, this journey will continue as I lovingly Tend to my health.
So how about you. Do you make time in your life to Tend to your own needs? Do you give enough time to yourself and your well-being?
A Winter’s Vase
Yes I know this is not a vase, but it is tied to a vase from late fall. On the New Year, I cast old rose petals onto the snow and gave them back to the earth. They made such a beautiful, symbolic picture.
The rose petals came in part from this last rose in a vase cut before the final hard frost stopped the blooms in my garden months ago.
Now the winter bulbs are finally blooming, and this first no-name Hippeastrum is the first showing off.
I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.