Wednesday 1st May marked the beginning of Walking Awareness Month. Walking is something I haven’t done a lot of in recent years due to debilitating pain, consecutive surgeries and rough bouts of fatigue. Lately I’ve been feeling a little more able, after receiving urgent intervention since January. When I saw my surgeon last, I was seriously concerned my mobility was at risk – something I cannot afford to lose at just 28 with an active six year old for whom I assume about 80% of the caring responsibility.
So I’ve made a commitment to myself – I aim to increase my step goal from a measly 5000 a day to 6000, and endeavour to achieve that 5 days out of 7 (allowing for rest days when my Fibromyalgia commands it.
Here are some fabulous reasons you should commit to walking more too:
You don’t need to buy expensive fitness equipment – everything you need is right there, attached to your body and it is completely free.
It keeps your butt toned – one thing I learned from spending best part of four months on my ass is that it atrophies pretty fast when you don’t use it. My butt has always been pretty prominent and somewhat pert, and I was mortified when my left leg began to turn into a squishy swollen mess, reminding me of a Serrano Ham, but soft. Walking engages your glutes and causes them to tense a little with each step.
It burns fat – walking increases your heart rate enough to put you in the fat burn zone. You won’t be shredded in six weeks, but it will help with eradicating the mum tum and or the beer keg you’re harbouring.
It gives you a bit of headspace – a little walk around the block gives you a little peace and quiet to process any troubling thoughts, ruminate, scheme, plot, and replay conversations we think didn’t go too well. Or maybe your head just shows you a stream of cat memes… whatever floats your boat!
It prevents falls in the elderly – and young people too. Walking on uneven surface such as hiking trails (or even a walk in the woods) is said to improve balance in people of all ages, even if just meandering slowly on a natural path through the woods. Start now, before you’re even at risk of falls though.
It’s in your blood – seriously. Did cavemen hope in the car or sit at a desk all day? No. They used the two things hanging from their pelvis and travelled that way. It’s literally the way you were made.
It allows for mindfulness and presence in the moment – when we travel in the car or even on a bike, its very easy to become focussed on where we are going, rather than where we are. Smell the flowers. Watch the people. Pet the dog in the park. Focus on what is around you, and be aware of it all, not on the end goal.
Unless you literally cannot walk, there’s nothing to stop you. I’ve spent too much time stuck on my ass unable to walk and I refused to allow it to continue. I’m going to try harder. I have to! And I hope you will too.