One of the best pieces of advice my Father ever gave me was, “Start walking today for good health, and never quit.” How right he was! He told me that when I was thirty. He continued by saying that it would be much harder to start when I became forty. And if I waited to fifty it would be really hard! He went on to say that waiting to sixty to start walking was twice as hard as fifty and that if I waited clear to seventy it would become almost impossible.
WHERE SHOULD I WALK?
I decided early in my “walking career” that I would never make my walks hard work. I wanted to enjoy them and see new things as I walked. I tried jogging for a while but decided early that it was not necessary to put that strain on my knees. On my thirtieth birthday I lived in suburban Portland, Oregon so my walks were often on the sidewalks of the city streets. Once in a while I would drive downtown and walk along the Willamette River. A few years later I lived in a town called Wilsonville and discovered a beautiful walk out through close by country fields that was about three miles long and for the next twenty years I thoroughly enjoyed walking that route as the seasons changed and farmers mowed their fields of hay and the flowers changed colors. Because I have traveled the world in my Wellness business I have been privileged to take my walks in the parks and on the streets of many glorious cities. I have always risen early and often In a distant city I would wake before my wife and leave to explore with a morning walk. I love London and we were often there on business so my early morning walks took many paths. The hotel we stay at in London is just off Oxford Street and I soon found a Starbuck’s that I could fit into my walk for my early morning coffee. Oh, the sites I have seen and the people I have met in Tokyo, Edinburgh, Rome, New Orleans, San Francisco and Mexico City, to name just a few! For years we had a home in New Jersey and in Portland. At our main home in New Jersey we had, for sixteen years, a beautiful black German Shepherd/ Labrador and he would walk with me on my early morning walks when I was home. How right my Father was! And how grateful I have been over the years for that piece of advice!
WHAT DOES WALKING REALLY DO FOR YOU?
Actually, the simple act of walking does wonders for the human body. One thing it does is make your blood move through your veins and arteries. Blood carries nutrients to the far reaches of the body and at the same time serves as a transport carrier for wastes that the body wants to discard. Walking can help you to burn calories. How fast you walk, how far you choose to go, whether you are walking up an incline or on flat ground all contribute to how many calories you burn and how much energy you use. And while doing all of this you are also strengthening your heart. If you can take your walks after a meal you also can help regulate the sugar in your blood system. Research is showing that a brisk after meal walk after each meal is probably more valuable than a 45 minute walk all at one time. Your immune system can be impacted by a good walk. Recent research on 1,000 adults during a flu season who walked at a moderate pace for about 45 minutes each day had 43 percent fewer sick days than those who were sedentary. Keeping your joints well lubricated by walking has shown to help reduce pain from sore joints. WOW! With all of these benefits dare I add that walking appears to also give you a good energy boost!?
ONE OF WALKINGS GREATEST BENEFITS
When I first started walking I discovered that it was the ideal way for me to think and become creative. Let me share an incident. My mind runs on overdrive much of the time and I constantly am coming up with ideas for businesses and other activities. One beautiful sunny morning as I walked in Oregon years ago I suddenly had a bright, clear thought for a truly incredible business. It was so good that I literally stopped and thought about it for at least a full minute. What an idea! I continued my walk for about another twenty minutes and went in to get a cup of coffee. Now with my coffee I sat down to record my idea. Nothing came to mind! I struggled for about twenty minutes trying to recall that fantastic idea. Today, many years later, I still have never been able to recall that thought which stopped me cold that morning. The lesson I learned from that experience was always to carry a pen and small pad of paper as I walk. Walking has often helped me to clear my head and allow me to let my mind wander. Because of this I seldom walk with anyone else. There is research that shows that walking, for many people, opens up a free flow of ideas and helps the mind to function at a higher level. For me, walking outdoors is mush better for this than walking inside or walking on a treadmill. I have learned the weather makes very little difference to the value of my walks. I have had fascinating thoughts walking on the frozen streets of Nome, Alaska and the warm, wet with rain, pathways of Honolulu. These walks have helped me create very profitable businesses and at the same time kept me in vigorous health, .
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED?
Interestingly enough, that is a question I have received a thousand times over the years. Begin by making the decision that you are going to walk 30-45 minutes every day for the rest of your life. At this point most people say, “I don’t have time to do that.” When my Father told me to walk everyday I felt the same. Then I discovered that not having the time was really just a thought in my head. Get a decent pair of shoes and try to use them most of the time. At first, you may want a place close to home and that is easy to use. I quickly graduated to always walking in some place that I found interesting. Wear comfortable clothing and don’t worry about the weather. Now, get started today!
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