Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take a walk

I find it alarming that many people of my age (I'm 59) can no longer walk farther than from the parking lot to the shopping mall. These people rarely ever walk more than a block or two at a time. Yikes! I'm grateful I live in a city where everyone walks, takes public transportation at least sometimes. Maybe if I lived somewhere else and had a car, I too would lose my ability to walk.

For literally millions of years our species evolved in the direction of standing upright. How sad that as soon as we had the technology to make it possible, we immediately sat down! It would be funny if it wasn't sad.

If you are not in the habit of walking, please start right away. I've read articles in which people are advised to begin by parking their cars at the edge of the parking lot so as to increase the number of steps from car to shopping mall. Please do NOT start this way. Dodging cars in an ugly parking lot will not inspire anyone to take up this essentially human activity. Please go somewhere pretty, or walk around your neighborhood. Spring is a nice time to begin because of the generally nice weather, pretty flowers, butterflies, fluffy clouds and other lovely sights.

If it hurts when you walk, take a minute to notice very specifically where and how it hurts. Is it the standing up that hurts, or does the pain flare when you actually take a step or two? Is it in your lower back, hips, knees? Elsewhere? Try shortening and lengthening your stride; sometimes a change in gait is all that's needed. Or walk more slowly, or more quickly. Find a pace that works.

Receive a therapeutic massage, or an osteopathic or chiropractic adjustment, or two - or twenty. See a physical therapist. Take care of what makes walking difficult. Wear a hat that provides shade for your eyes, wear sunglasses and comfortable clothes. Take some deep breaths and let your mind wander. You will not regret it!

Walking is great for strength, flexibility, respiration, digestion, immunity and definitely supports mental health. It's free. We are built to walk, so get out there, please? Breathe in fresh air, stare at things near and far, check out the weather and sky, maybe take some pictures. Walk about, y'all, yes? I say yes.


jeanette from everton terrace said...

Finally something I'm doing right. I don't live in a walking city, at least not what you typically think of as a walking city. We do, however, have many trails and mountains all around which are geared for hiking and walking. I walk the canal path and enjoy it so much. The new puppy has us out even more - dogs are so good for your health :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Dogs are good for everything.

Jeanette you do many many many many things right! C'mon.

ellen abbott said...

I'm more than ready to start walking again only my foot isn't quite as ready.

Angela said...

I wonder if I`d walk as much without my dog. But as it is, he keeps me walking, running, skipping, enjoying my time out in the fresh air. I ALWAYS feel better afterwards, and we never walk less than twenty minutes (two or three times a day), most often more. Can`t advise anything better!

Kerry said...

Well, the dogs do get us out in weather of all sorts, but I love to walk anyway. But definitely not in parking lots: ugh!