Every evening after dinner, I walk with my family for thirty minutes around the neighborhood. It’s great for my parents because it helps their joints, and they always sleep and feel better afterwards. It’s also great as an escape from computer and TV screens or work stress, and it’s nice to talk to the family, especially since our house will be an empty nest in a couple months. We also get to know our community better because it’s always the same people who are outside at the same time. Obviously, walking is a win-win-win-win-win.
When we started walking, I was an avid jogger, walking up at seven in the morning during the summer to run. I felt walking wasn’t going to help me lose weight because I never felt tired after walking, and since we took the same route as I did for my jogs, the whole walk was one slow process. I decided to walk with three pound weights to work my arms and abs; weights work your core since every step requires your body to adjust for balance. While this was a more suitable workout for me, I still did not believe in the power of walking. This all changed once school started up again.
Ironically, I kept walking during the school year but dropped jogging, even though walking takes more time than running. I found that I liked walking more because I wasn’t sticky, sweaty, and panting heavily afterwards, although I probably didn’t burn as many calories as I did running. Also, it is warmer in the evening than the morning, making jogging a little too hot and uncomfortable, yet I couldn’t jog in the mornings before school because I would have to wake up at 5 am! (Keep in mind that I don’t go to bed during the school year until 12 or 1 am). During winter, I could bundle up in layers for our walks without taking any off while I would either have to wear one layer and freeze at the beginning of my run or wear layers but carry them by the end of the run. Besides, the most important reason I stayed with walking is for family time.
Before long, I started to see how walking was excellent exercise. Sometimes, I don’t have time to do any exercise at all, and when I go for a walk after a few days of no exercise, I definitely feel the effect. I feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s wonderful for the thighs, my trouble area. Now, even when I’m away from home, I occasionally take a walk to explore and spend time by myself. Walking is an excellent way to start on a new weight-loss or fitness goal. Like waking up in the morning, the hardest part of walking is stepping out the door. Once you do though, you’ll reap all the benefits.