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8 Reasons to Walk in 2013


Walk. Walk. Walk.

Walk. Walk. Walk.
1,000 steps is 1/2 mile – 10 minutes.

“8 Reasons to Walk in 2013” by Joan Y. Edwards

This is my third in a series of blogs on goals for 2013. This article is about goals that will help your physical and mental health in 2013. Here are three suggestions:

  1. Get a physical examination.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Walk, dance, garden, play a sport, or clean house for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes every day.

When I was a kid, I played outside for hours at a time. I jumped rope, even double-dutch. I played hopscotch on every conceivable design know to humanity. It was fun to play hide and seek and kick the can.  I played pitcher for both neighborhood teams in softball because batting and running weren’t my strong suits.

We didn’t know the evils of the sun then or perhaps the ozone layer hadn’t been destroyed at that time. My point is we were active. In 1947 television had just been invented. We had the only television in the neighborhood. Mother put us out the door and wouldn’t let us in except for lunch, supper, or chores.

As a teacher for 35 years, I moved around in the classroom, taught students various skills in physical education. I lugged a bunch of books here and there. Great physical exercise. When I cared for my mother, I moved around a good bit. Somehow I lost my enthusiasm for walking. I cannot tell you why or how. Here are my unlimited and abundant excuses not to walk:

  1. I don’t want to wear out my shoes.
  2. I’m too tired.
  3. I’ve got better things to do.
  4. It’s too cold.
  5. It’s too hot.
  6. It’s raining.
  7. I’ve got to do the laundry.
  8. I’m not in the mood to walk.
  9. I’m afraid to walk in certain places.
  10. and on, and on, and on.

I used to do country western dancing and stay out until really late dancing the night away. I love dancing still but the people I hung out with then, aren’t there any more. One year I walked and took pictures along my walk. I started thinking about the people in my neighborhood might not want pictures taken of their homes, a privacy thing.

One year I read a book about walking. It said to begin by walking in one direction for 10 minutes and then walk back. I found a site that says the same thing: http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html. They have a chart that tells you how to increase your walking from 15 minutes to 60 minutes a day in 12 weeks: http://www.thewalkingsite.com/12week.html.

I think the program called Fuel Up to Play 60 for school aged children is awesome. The National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA started it: http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/. It empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes to eat right and play for an hour a day. Whole schools take part in this program. Students can win cool prizes, like an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets.

I thought maybe I could try again to motivate myself to make a small change and walk more. Here’s what I’m already doing:

  1. I park my car at the farthest parking space from most of the places I shop.
  2. When I’m at the mall, I walk up the mall and back.
  3. I walk inside the house when I talk on the phone with anyone.

Money motivates me. Does money motivate you? How much will it take to motivate you? Put money in a jar. Set a goal of how much you have to walk to get it out of the jar. Or do it this way, each day that you walk at least 10 minutes, put a dime, a quarter, or a dollar in a jar.  If you walk for 100 days, you’ll have enough money to buy something to celebrate your accomplishment.

Possible Goals for Walking

  • Walk 7 minutes for 7 days.
  • Walk 10 minutes for 10 days.
  • Walk 15 minutes for 15 days.
  • Walk 20 minutes for 20 days.
  • Walk 30 minutes for 30 days.

Design your own rewards.

  • If you walk 15 minutes for 7 days, get a manicure or pedicure.
  • If you walk 15 minutes for 2 weeks, buy tickets for a play or sports game.
  • If you walk 15 minutes for 3 weeks, buy a new book.
  • If you walk 15 minutes for a month, buy yourself a new dress or sports shirt and cap.

Here are 8 Benefits of Walking:

  1. Walking Helps You Solve Problems. Choose a problem in your story. Walk to find a solution. http://wspt.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/to-find-a-problem-walk-around-to-solve-a-problem-walk-around-some-more/
  2. Walking Increases Creativity: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-walking-increase-creativity-4130473.html?cat=5
  3. Walkers Live Longer http://walking.about.com/od/beginners/tp/startwalking.htm
  4. Healthy heart: Regular walking lowers cholesterol levels, prevents high blood pressure, and wards off heart disease and other diseases, too. http://www.indianwomenshealth.com/Walking-142.aspx
  5. Reduces risk of Diabetes: Regular walking reduces your risk of developing diabetes and strengthens your body’s ability to process sugar, and lower blood sugar. http://www.indianwomenshealth.com/Walking-142.aspx
  6. Lowers Body Fat: Regular walking prevents weight gain and decrease the levels of body fat. For example, middle-aged women who walk more than 10,000 steps a day have lower levels of body fat than do women who are less active. http://www.indianwomenshealth.com/Walking-142.aspx
  7. Boosts Spirits: Regular walking helps you manage stress effectively and boosts your spirits.
  8. Increases Strength and Endurance: Walking improves your physical strength and endurance levels. It also helps your body’s immune system ward off infections. http://www.indianwomenshealth.com/Walking-142.aspx

Keep a chart to keep you accountable and show proof for your rewards.

If you buy a pedometer, it will keep track of the number of steps you take each day. They say 10,000 steps is good. That’s five miles. If you walk 2,000 steps, that’s one mile. To begin, you can start with 1,000 steps. A half mile. You might get revved up once you’re out there and forget all about the time.

Thank you for reading my blog. I thought we could help each other out here. Each day that you walk for 15 minutes, leave a comment below. We’ll cheer each other on.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you haven’t signed up to receive an email when I post an article, I hope you will. In the left hand column there is a box that says, “Sign Me Up.” In the letter WordPress sends you to confirm your subscription, there is a link and password to get the Never Give Up image I made for my subscribers.

Thank you to the 8 people who took time out of their busy days to post a review of my picture book, Flip Flap Floodle for me on Amazon. See the reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/.

If you’re willing to review Flip Flap Floodle for me, leave a comment below or email me at the email address listed in the contact area in left-hand column. I’ll send you a paperback by snail mail.

P.S. I walked 15 minutes on the day yesterday after I posted this. Then I walked this morning for 15 minutes before I turned on the computer. I may have figured out a plan that works for me. Hip Hip Hooray.

Enjoy being you. Celebrate. Walk.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

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14 Responses

  1. Joan,
    What great timing for an exercise post. Many people make resolutions to get in shape. I have an exercise bike that’s been calling me for quite a while. Thanks to you, I will have more incentive to get back on it. Today seems like a good time to add it to my schedule. Share your walking experiences and I’ll tell you about some of the wildlife I watch out my window as I pedal, pedal, pedal.

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you think my post on exercise had good timing. Isn’t it interesting how things call us and we resist? We can throw out more excuses for not doing it, as the activity can throw at us for doing it. It’s the great debate! You are right. Today is a good time to add it to our schedules. I like that line. Telling you about my walking experiences and you telling me about what you see out your window while you are on your treadmill will be fun. Thanks for suggesting it.
      Celebrate you. Exercise.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  2. Walking is my preferred exercise and I try to walk 30 minutes per day on the treadmill. I get extra time taking the dog outside and she’s a brisk walker. I’d recommend really good shoes, though. They are a must!

    Like

    • Dear Juliana,
      I’m excited that walking is yor preferred exercise and that you make it a habit to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day! You and Linda Andersen use a treadmill, maybe a treadmill would be good for me.
      Be sure and leave a comment every time you walk! Tell me how it makes you feel.
      Celebrate you. Exercise.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  3. Hey Joan, great advise. I walk sometimes. I have crippled legs from knee replacements, and don’t walk like I used to. I want to do more but find too many excuses not to. One is it hurts, but if we don’t exercise, we lose muscle. Your post is food for thought and when I ‘m better I’m going to make a better effort to get out there and walk at least a little. Thanks Joan for you concern for others.

    Like

  4. Dear Susan,
    I’m glad you walk sometimes. You and I are a lot alike in that we find excuses. You are right, if we don’t walk or exercise in some way, we lose muscle. I’m glad my blog post was food for thought. Set your timer for one minute. Walking a minute is good. Say to yourself, “I had pain. It is gone.” Focus on all the things you love while you walk. I set the timer earlier today for 15 minutes and walked inside our house. It was fun. I was excited that I finally did it. Hopefully the next walk won’t take me as long to begin. Good luck to you in all your endeavors. I admire you for it must be difficult. Do what you can and relax! Celebrate you where you are and what you are doing!

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

  5. I totally agree with you, Joan! For much of my adult life I have walked every morning. I used to walk four miles… now I am down to two or maybe three. Still, through rain, wind or snow, I walk. When I don’t, my body gives me a nudge that says, ‘Move, already!” and (reluctantly, sometimes,) I go. We also dance (ballroom) at least once a week… Argentine tango being the latest challenge. Now, to conquer Zumba…. maybe?

    Like

    • Dear Maureen,
      Thanks for writing. That is so awesome that you walk every day. What a great habit you have! Glad you dance at least once a week. The Tango is a classy and romantic dance. Zumba routines have a good beat, but the ones I saw on You-Tube were very fast.
      Thank you for always being encouraging and for following my blog.
      Celebrate you. Enjoy your walk.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  6. Hey Joan,
    Happy Birthday this week. I’m glad to see you are walking. I walk for 2 miles every morning and write poems in my head during that time. Last week as I was walking I was listening to Joan Baez sing “Ten Thousand Miles” and realized that wasn’t really that far when you broke it down to 5 miles a day.
    BTW, is your blog only read by women? Buying a new dress isn’t exactly a guy activity for reward, then again, maybe it is. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Joy,
      Thanks for the Happy Birthday wishes. My birthday is Friday, January 11th. I’ll be 73 years young. I’m proud of you walking two miles every day. Hip Hip Hooray for you. No, my blog is read by men and women. I’ll add a different thing besides dress. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  7. I am a huge fan of walking. The mental benefit of exercise it worth it. Keep on walking.

    Like

    • Dear Kristina,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad that you are a huge fan of walking. I’ve walked 3 days in a row now I am so excited. Thanks for cheering me on. I appreciate you very much.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  8. Here’s one more excuse for the list: the vicious dogs running free in the neighbourhood scare the beegeebees out of me.

    Hi Joan. Thanks for this inspiring post. I don’t walk because of bad feet. But I really need to get back to yoga. Do you do kick in the butts by any chance?

    Seriously, this is great stuff. Happy New Year.

    Like

    • Dear Joylene,
      I totally agree about vicious dogs scaring you. It would scare me, too. How about doing Yoga for 15 minutes in the morning before you go to your computer or listen to voice messages on your phone. Doing walking or yoga for as long as you can do it…even one minute is great. Email me when you do it so I can celebrate with you!
      I love your sense of humor. That’ll keep you living for oodles and caboodles of years!
      Celebrate your sense of humor.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

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