Walking for Health

Last April, my new doctor told me that if I didn’t get my collective crap together, I was heading toward a myriad of health issues that would affect my quality of life. That night, I finished the bottle of wine I had been drinking and thought about the changes I would need to make to get back on track.

I dressed for the weather the next day and took my dog for her first walk in months.

We didn’t get far. We walked less than half a mile between her skittishness and my poor physical condition. But it was a start. Over the next few weeks, we walked up and down the same street two or three times, working our way up to a mile. When my pup was ready to walk further, we found our way to one of the two intersecting thoroughfares that connect this neighborhood to the rest of the city. It took her a while to get used to the flow of traffic, and before long, she dragged me where she wanted to go—usually around the block and by the two horse farms. We now walk between one and three miles a day, depending on the weather and walking route conditions.

Walking has done several things for my health. First, I’ve lost most of the grief weight that I gained after the fire. I still have a few pounds to go, but that’s a function of my diet and activity levels at this point. I sit around on my keester a bit too much to burn the calories needed. My blood levels are down—significantly. I am working on one solid habit at a time, knowing that if I try to change too much at once, I’ll fail at everything. So far, I look forward to our morning walks almost as much as my doggo does.

I’ve tried running a few steps at a time. I have never been a runner, but sometimes I want to step up the pace a bit. Just watch the knee and hip discomfort, and I hope to build up to jogging through some of our walks. Of course, the music I listen to on our walks could influence my pace. 🤭

I am adding flexibility moves into my day in the form of some gentle yoga stretching. Again, I’m working my way into a more active routine, but if I push too hard today, I’ll give up tomorrow. My muscle memory is returning as I practice more moves, and the body insists on a few minutes on the mat before bed most nights now. It’s not a bad thing by any stretch (😏).

Household chatter has us thinking about joining the city’s Senior Center, a city facility that caters to the older population. I could certainly use the weight training and yoga room. I look forward to adding a bit of strength building to my week.

All of this has had an impact on my overall health. I feel better than I did a year ago—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now, all we need is a home to call our own.

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