Walking is a Big Deal

by Connie DeLaVergne on May 23, 2010

As I’ve aged I realize the health of my body requires attention and effort and that I need to move my body regularly. That’s a nice way of saying middle age is spreading and unless I want to be stiff and feeble before my time or look like a sedentary auntie I need to take care of myself and keep my body moving!

Are you giving your body the care and attention it needs through regular exercise?

As a child and young adult I was blessed with a great metabolism. I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and never gain a pound. My older sister hated me for it and so did a few of my friends. I remember an old boyfriend irritably saying, “I’d never go to the gym either if I could get away it!“

I had a naturally athletic body even though I didn’t play sports. It was a shame, really, I could’ve been an athlete but the only sport I thoroughly enjoyed was downhill skiing. I loved flying fast down big white hills and zipping in and around the trees but it was never about the exercise. I never thought about staying in shape. I was an active person with a great metabolism who could eat whatever she wanted and didn’t have to do a thing to stay fit.

Fast-forward a few years and that’s not the case anymore. I have gained weight every decade like the All-American woman I am.

Have you heard there’s an obesity epidemic in this country? What direction is your health moving?

People are over weight because they consume more calories than they burn. It’s that simple. I don’t care what anybody says, that’s why people gain weight. And the older a person becomes, the easier it is to gain weight. You can blame this food group or that lifestyle choice or you can blame your metabolism and even if those factors are true, at the end of the day it all comes down to you and how you choose to express yourself. You can express yourself in good health or not but . . .

It’s your responsibility to take care of your body.

That’s why I started walking—in my middle years, for exercise after I realized I had to do something differently if I wanted to be fit and healthy. Walking became my exercise of choice because it’s easy, it’s free and it’s always available. It was also the least painful form of exercise I could find. I did NOT like to sweat.

Walking is great exercise for everyBODY at every fitness level—ease into it slowly or choose routes with steps and hills.

The best part was soon after I started walking I noticed it was enjoyable. I could walk and walk and walk and learn about the city I lived in at the same time.  I discovered plants and trees and parks I didn’t know existed and green, beautiful trails and all kinds of different neighborhoods. I noticed people, places and things I had never really seen before.

Walking lets you learn the details of your neighborhood and city—the ones you miss when you’re in the car.

As my legs, heart and lung capacity got stronger and stronger and as my endurance increased so did the length and difficulty of my walks. I found hills and steps and mountains to climb and slowly but surely I began to enjoy . . . my perspiration. I never thought it would happen but it did. My sweat became a right of passage, a marker telling me that my effort was good . . . that I’m a hard worker and I’m doing it for a cause that’s wise and noble.

A love affair with walking was firmly established. It can happen for you too.

When I first started walking (and often times today as well) I walked alone. I got a lot of thinking done on these walks of contemplation. After dropping my daughter off at school in the morning I would walk for an hour, sometimes two, and really good decisions were made on these walks, but mostly, I got to know me better.

Walking gives you time to think.

It also enabled my husband and I to reconnect, literally, and this might be the single greatest reason to walk. Walking gave us time to focus on our relationship when we needed it most—providing time alone to talk without interruption. I cannot describe how valuable walking was for us after 11-years of marriage and a 4-month separation.

Your relationships can benefit from walking too.

I like to say that walking saved our marriage but the truth is we saved our marriage, walking was simply a vehicle. Walking gave us the time and the surroundings to be alone and to work on us—on the health of our relationship while improving the health of our bodies. I cannot stress enough how wonderful walking was for us—the Universe loves action and working on our marriage while we moved our bodies was a very strong message indeed. Four years later we still take walks together and our marriage is stronger than it’s ever been, our bodies are stronger too.

Walking is a really big deal that gives you nothing but benefits on many different levels.

Walk on my friends.


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