Walk On, Part 2

The truth about walking is that, whether you walk apace or slowly, it’s good for what ails you and can include all of the following and more according to The many benefits of walking:

  • reduces the risk of dying from heart disease;
  • reduces the risk of developing colon cancer;
  • reduces the risk of developing diabetes;
  • helps control weight;
  • helps develop muscle;
  • helps reduce body fat.

The same article goes on to state: “Walking and other forms of exercise can help lower blood pressure and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. It also can have psychological benefits by curbing anxiety and depression symptoms, improving mood and fostering a sense of well-being.” A program of sufficient physical exercise should include “150 minutes of brisk walking a week.”

Of course, we all know that walking is beneficial even if we haven’t committed the above points to memory. The problem is that it’s like sex, everybody talks about it but nobody wants to do anything about it. Okay … it’s not like sex, but I always appreciate my sense of humor even if I’m the only one … on two continents as it turns out (the other continents having yet to feel the need of the cooling comfort or whatever it is that this hot, ole AC can provide).

With all that good stuff in mind, I decided that come the New Year, I would make a real effort to do better — which for me means walking to the mailbox instead of driving the 50 yards.

Really though, I truly decided to do better. So come January 4th when it was time to settle into the routine, ole AC headed out — full and vim, vigor and … well … lets leave it at vim and vigor … no … let’s be even more truthful and just say he went out for an early morning stroll. Yup. Let’s leave it at that.

It was quite a nice morning. After a week of no snow, we had been gifted with a pretty, fresh blanket overnight. AC marched sauntered happily along.

Partway up the block, however, didn’t I slip? The trouble is that you can’t see patches of ice under the snow (or if you can, I sure can’t, and if you can please tell me your secret). But I didn’t fall — injured my pride more than anything — so I trundled on. I shouldn’t have, but they say there’s no fool like an old fool. So I kept walking, and even more stupidly continued into the local park by the river.

Where I soon hit another hidden patch of ice. Big patch.

Kerplunk! Ooh, right down on my right shoulder I went. That hurt a bit.

Before I could get off that patch, I slipped rather badly twice more. I was not having much fun by then, twisting and extending this limb and then that one. To say nothing of my poor back.

I finally got off the path and its ice patch and cut across the field. And headed up the inclined pathway out of the park. Where my feet hit another icy patch, and I again slipped rather precariously. Once again I didn’t fall, but I might as well have because it sure felt like one pull too many on lower ligaments … aka legs.

The next morning found me with a very sore shoulder, a stiff neck, and a knee that could barely take mine self up and down the precious stairs, which we have in abundance.

As I have said to a few others on email, there was a time — about 50 years ago — when I could play tackle football and not be the worse for wear after being driven to the ground any number of times. Fifty years, one tumble, and four slips later, I was a wreck.

Needless to say my walking plan was derailed for a few days whilst ye olde bod tried its durndest to heal and recover. But I’ll have you know that I’m back at it. I am staying out of the park, however, and walking on the [sometimes] salted and/or sanded road when I hae me doots over the condition of the sidewalk.

What can you do? You can’t really hibernate for four months. Ya just gotta get with the program. It’s good for you. Or so they they — they who haven’t trod upon hidden ice lately.

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14 Responses to Walk On, Part 2

  1. Ginger says:

    Which is precisely why I bought a treadmill some years ago and use it quite faithfully, 4-5 times a week in the winter. My husband firmly believes that walking/running are better done outdoors for the effect, but I must say that in the winter, I quite happily trot away indoors on the safety of my machine, fast enough to work up a sweat and slow enough to read books at a good clip while I do it.

  2. Mara says:

    My secret apart from wearing glasses? I never really notice anything and just carry on regardless. I am worse when cycling though, I will be really careful then. Although having said that, I have had a few slips lately not spotting ice!

  3. Mara says:

    PS: your sense of humour is very much appreciated in this part of the world!

  4. Ruth says:

    You cannot walk outdoor in winter in Canada without Yaktrax or similar foot devices. Our mail carriers all wear them (we actually get mail delivery to our house). Like Ginger says, a treadmill works, but the view gets exceedingly tedious. (I am not into html this morning but here is the link;- http://yaktrax.com)

  5. Ginnie says:

    Sorry about your mishaps, AC but look what you’ve done for me… Once again you’ve provided me with an idea for a blog entry ! Here it is. My daughter and son-in-law stay with me three months of the year … (through the rough winter months when their antique business is closed up North). Last year they installed a heavy duty tread mill in my office … TO BE USED BY THEIR DOGS !! My house is near the road and they were fearful that they’d be hit … so my daughter sits at the head of the treadmill with a carrot in her hand and her husband puts the dog on it and just as she’s about to get the carrot he pulls her back …and it starts all over again. Great exercise for the dogs … so “why not for me?” I figured !
    I’ve been using it now for about 9 months and I love it. I’m about 8 pounds lighter and my stamina is much improved. I read while I “walk” so it’s not too boring and the only drawback is the size of the darn thing, but it beats going to the gym or getting out in all kinds of weather…such as the ice that we have today.
    Hope you feel better soon and get those shoes that Ruth mentions.

  6. Doris says:

    I do quite a bit of walking but with lots of stopping and pointing (a camera) so I am not sure of the total benefits. At least Mount Royal has fairly steep inclines and gets my heart rate going.
    I guess you could always do the mall walking thing (no ice) but that sounds rather boring or could be expensive if you do more than window shop!

  7. Lorna says:

    I smiled, I winced, I smiled, I shuddered. I love to walk, but not on a treadmill. I got a pedometer a couple of years ago, when I was still working at least part-time, and I always got in the recommended number of steps (can’t remember now what that was) but I lived in a 3-storey house at the time. I wince and shudder to think how short of that number I’d fall (pun not intended) these days.

  8. AC, those os us who have ventured out on similar cold and icy mornings well know the perils of trying to exercise for health benefits and not permanently injure oneself in the process. We also enjoy walking but the cold weather does present its challenges.

  9. Hilary says:

    Oh poor you. I feel your pain. The winter before last, I slipped on some of that hidden ice and landed on my elbow. It still hurts. But I did everything in my power to protect my camera and thankfully it fared much better than my elbow. I hope you’re much improved and that you stay upright for the rest of the season… and then some.

  10. Bernie says:

    So glad you are better and back to walking, I don’t walk during the winter as much as I should…..it really is too cold out here but I have a gazelle which I try and get 20 to 30 mins. a day on it….It really helps with keeping the arthritis from making me too stiff, while Weight Watches helps keep the weight down…..:-) Hugs

  11. Diana says:

    We have a small little indoor mall in our tiny town. They open there doors at 8:00 a.m. just for all of the people that want to walk around in the mall. The stores don’t open until 10:00 a.m.. But at least you can walk around out of the weather. We call them mall walkers here. I don’t know if they have anyplace like that in your town or not.
    I’ve almost fallen a few times just walking my dogs in the yard even though I put sand down. I’m sorry about your soreness AC, but you get an E for effort!
    Love Di ♥

  12. a treadmill works for me… :o)

  13. judy says:

    I hibernate for four months.

    I’m causing a rather nasty path in the carpet.

  14. Kila says:

    Ouch! Perhaps you could walk indoors, at stores or a mall, until the spring thaw?

    I love long walks. A bit chilly this week in Florida, though!

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