Taking a Hike

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Take a Hike


Somewhere I read Jesus saying, “Take a walk with me.” I doubt he meant it for exercise. Two thousand years ago, walking was the primary means of transportation. Now we go to gyms and exercise facilities to walk on treadmills after along day’s work. Ironic, don’t you think?


We no longer work with our bodies to earn money. Instead, we use the money we’ve earned to physically work the body that has labored behind a keyboard.


Take breathe and start this over again.


One: we are human beings meant to walk upright.  We have bones and ligaments and muscles and joints designed to carry our weight (as it is meant to be).


Two: walking brings oxygen to all parts of the body, including your all-important brain. This gives you a chance to think, really think. Work out problems, dream up new ideas, and recharge your brain cells so they’ll be ready to tackle another task.


As we get older, we naturally lose muscle mass unless we do something to intervene and stop the process. One of the best ways to change this is regular vigorous physical exercise.  Walking fits the bill and it’s FREE. Grab a decent pair of shoes and dress for the weather. Off you go!


If you haven’t walked in a while, it might seem like work, and perhaps it is. So let’s break this down. For some people, just walking to the mailbox will be a chore. Start it anyway.


A few of you may not make it around the block where you live. That’s ok. Walk to the corner and back today. Keep a diary of how far you walked and every day day walk just a little bit further. If you’re in great shape, that’s terrific. Walk anyway.


Now please don’t think that just because you bought a fancy pair of walking shoes and want to leave a sedentary life behind you can go walk a mile today. You will feel it tomorrow, and you might not ever want to try again. Instead, add a little longer walk each day until you’re good for a 30-minute walk daily. That’s a good goal, according to the American Heart Association. And you can break that up into two 15-minute or three 10-minute segments, so long as you get 30 minutes each day.


A great tip from Dr. Oz is to take a brisk 15-minute walk outdoors before lunch. Not only will you get the benefits of the walk, you’ll absorb a typical daily amount of Vitamin D, related to stronger bones and a healthier, longer life.


“On the sunny island of Aruba, it is always 80 degrees.” Remember that commercial in the middle of winter? Got you thinking about vacation time, didn’t it? If you don’t live in a lush climate year round, you can still get a nice walk every day if you park AWAY from the entry door. Seriously. Park at the back of the lot of the building you work in, or the grocery store or the mall.  You’ll get a little extra walk and you won’t even feel like you are doing exercise.


Another little tip is to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do this for at least one floor up every day for a month and you’ll establish a healthy new habit. By the way, your rear end will start showing curves in the right places, if you know what I mean.


Walking is what out bodies naturally want to do. Swing your arms at your side, walk at a steady pace that allows you to carry on a conversation without feeling out of breath.  After a few weeks, you’ll feel more comfortable and may want to look for walking clubs in your neighborhood. It’s a great way to meet new people and develop new friendships, too.


There are many books and articles online. Remember, owning a treadmill in your own home only works if you do! Best to get out there with some fresh air and sunshine. Walk with a friend and you’ll both stay on track, Neither of you will want to disappoint the other.


Keep flossing your teeth every day and drink enough water, especially after your walk.  I’ll be back next week with other tip for a healthy new you in 2012

Sherry Regiani

About Sherry Regiani

Sherry Regiani is a noted speaker on motivation and professionalism. Some of the recent talks include: "Tough Economy or Terrific Practice?" - "How to be Lucky" and "The Power of Optimism". Her background is in dental health and nutrition, and she works part-time for her husband, David, in their Holistic Dental Practice in Michigan. Sherry has served as a staff and guest writer for newspapers, newsletters and magazines for over 30 years.