Sunday, December 20, 2009

TO MAKE YOUR WALK EASIER.....

Take your music with you in a very portable fashion. I crochet, so I like this one:

http://www.dmc-usa.com/mjRS/1/doc/US_freedesigns/crochetdenimipod.pdf

but there are plenty of other ways to tote your ipod or MP3 player.

There are lots of these armbands available. Some look fancier or higher-tech than others, but all do pretty much the same job as this one:



http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&source=hp&q=ipod+armband&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=8701451723089667723&ei=iW8sS8-XOYLSM-_l8Y4J&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=image&resnum=4&ved=0CC4Q8gIwAw#

or use this tinyurl to get there:

http://tinyurl.com/yz42qhe


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NOT RHUMBA - ZUMBA!!!

I found ANOTHER addiction!! Check this out on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf0q6qtThF4

The dance shown is the first we learned. Now, I CANNOT wiggle like the sweet young thing in this video - but I don't care. It's FUN and quite a work out. A friend goes with me and she's unable to do a lot of the upper body work because of a heart condition - but she does what she can at the rate she can do it. Still fun!

I found a great dance studio (where I also linedance) so I don't have to pay a membership fee or whatever. They use a punch card that makes Zumba a great value. Way more expensive at other places.

Try it out!!




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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

MY THANKSGIVING TREAT

This time last year, I was recuperating nicely from a knee replacement - my second. Things were going along well except for some muscle pain on the outside of my lower leg. Not a huge problem. I was back to walking several miles a day at a nice clip. But, with winter coming, I was unsure if I could keep up the recovery. I asked my orthopedist and he told me (again) that I could walk, bike, or swim. He told me to have my husband get me a stationary bike for Christmas. Fat chance!!

I had an old bike 'rescued' from a garage sale years ago. I cleaned it off and tried to ride it. It was so loud that I couldn't hear the TV or radio when riding it. PLUS I got blisters in places that blisters shouldn't be! So much for that bike.

Fast forward a year, and I came into some money and decided to treat myself. I wanted a recumbent bike. I did a lot of research and found one bike that fit all my requirements - durable, quiet, well-reviewed - at the right price. Here it is:


It's a Stamina 7100 Fusion which means it has all the benefits of a recumbent bike without taking up as much room and it's doesn't really 'recumb'. It has a slight backward slant to the seat, but the seat itself is really large and comfy. It doesn't fold up, but it has a roller on the front for 'easy' (if you have the right muscles) relocation. The thing is heavy. My sons assembled it for me on Thanksgiving and were quite impressed with the quality of the fit and finish. It is SILENT, has (battery operated) electronic options to increase the intensity of the ride, measure distance, calories, and time. It even came with a cute little water bottle!

The really good news is that I enjoy riding it. So does my husband. When he can't make it to the gym, he'll hop on it during the news and pedal away. On those days when I haven't been able to go for a walk, I'm very happy to grab my book and hop on. I started at a 30 minute 'ride' and am increasing by about 5 minutes per day that I ride. I ride on Level 3 which has some hills and valleys, so I find that unless I pay attention, my pedaling rate will go down. But, it's really nice to have this to use on those days when I can't walk. I've also hopped on for a brief ride in the evening if my walk was in the morning. Can't hurt and the cardio is really good for me.




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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

AND, ON A BRIGHTER NOTE

So, about India. Despite the number of automobiles and cycles and the changing way of life there, so much of the beauty of India - cultural rather than physical - remains.

They have neighborhoods with markets of all kinds at the end of the street. Remember those days? When I was a kid in University City, Missouri, we were able to walk three blocks to an intersection where we had a full service grocery store, two 'drugstores', a deli, a dry cleaners, two gas stations, an ice cream shop (remember Velvet Freeze), a dentist, a vet, an appliance store, a cobbler, a hobby shop, a barber shop, and a butcher shop. All of that just 'down the street'. In the U.S., this type of neighborhood probably only survives in NYC and Chicago.

In those olden days, we walked the one mile each way to school (no, not uphill both ways) in all kinds of weather. There were no 'snow days' as there were no school buses! We walked three miles or so to the Loop to watch a movie or shop, about 2 miles to ice skate, three or so miles to the pool in summer, and to any of our friend's homes. No one drove us anywhere! Even my dad walked the three blocks to the bus stop to catch his ride to and from work every day. Mom got the car as her job was farther away (and she was one of a handful of working moms), and she still had all the errands to run.

In Chennai, it was so nice to be able to walk just down the street to buy fruit, a bag of milk, or a book. Good exercise and efficient. Had I stayed around longer, the locals would have come to know me. On my very first trip to Chennai (back when it was Madras), the local grocer who knew my father in law very well, ordered extra shipments of Coca-Cola just for me. Years later, the local druggist ordered extra tubes of acne meds for my teen son. Try that at Walmart!

It was charming to see children actually walking to school, backpacks and lunch bags in hand, chatting merrily as they strolled along. How many of our kids are able to walk to their neighborhood schools? How many go to neighborhood schools??

Walking also has the 'unintended consequence' of getting to know one's neighbors. This is true any time, anywhere in the world, I believe. How could one walk the same streets day after day and NOT get to know others along the route?

So, at least for now, India's cities retain their neighborhoods, their local 'down towns', their friendly environs. All this makes it safe to walk - if you can avoid the out of control traffic!


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BACK AND SHOCKED

I just returned from a very quick, hectic trip to Chennai (formerly Madras), India. I had the opportunity to accompany my mother in law on her return trip home. She'd spend several months with us in St. Louis but had to get outta Dodge before the weather turned too cold. Brrr - like today.

Anyway, it had been since the days of the Tsunami, December, 2004, since I'd last been there. As I had expected, the traffic was terrible. India has yet to impose orderly driving rules on its populace. Riding in a car in any large city in India can be a hair-raising experience! But, this time, I wasn't prepared for the exponential increase in the number of autos and motorcycles. Of course, there are still auto-rickshaws, bicycles, and pedestrians, all competing with buses and trucks (lorries)of all sizes for space on typically narrow, pot-holed streets. Most cities have banned cycle- and human-pulled rickshaws, carts, and herds of livestock (locally referred to humorously as 'brake inspectors').

So, what's all this got to do with walking? The population of Chennai is FAT! Fat, I tell you! I was shocked. With the improving economy, the increased production and reduced prices of consumer goods (including food), and the decrease in miles walked, younger Indians are following their U.S. counterparts in increasing girth.

It's very clear. I have a perspective of the same population in the same geographic location and climate over the course of almost exactly five years. During my last visit to India, most students and young professionals walked to the bus stop or cycled to work or school. Not so now. With their increased buying power, they're purchasing all kinds of automobiles and walking very little.

So, a word to the wise here for India. Please don't follow us down this particular path. Keep walking and maintain your healthy habits to avoid the common health ailments that go along with the increased weight - heart disease, lung disease, joint disease, and depression. Continuing to walk will prevent all of the bad things so many U.S. citizens suffer.

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NEW 'BUSINESS' CARDS

I recently designed and had printed some new 'business' cards. They aren't really business cards because they don't refer to a business. They're for my two blogs. I hand them out to the occasional person I run into who I think might be interested.

Why? Well, I run into so many sedentary people who I think would benefit from moderate exercise like walking AND I don't want to have to go into some evangelical type lecture about the benefits of such exercise. So, I'd like them to see my blog and learn in their own time. If anything I have written is of value to them, then I'm happy. If not, they won't hurt my feelings by reading something else online. LOL.

My card is a simple design, soft blue lettering on a white background. Has an overlay in blue of the St. Louis Arch. Then, there are the two blog addresses (this one and the crochet one), and my email address.

So far, I've only given out a few. One was to a friend who is extremely sedentary and was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus a year or two ago. She's a very talented gal who is retired and has time to take care of herself now. I'm hoping that my simple blog postings will inspire her to get moving.

I've never known anyone who didn't improve his/her body and outlook with a good walk! Hope my enthusiasm will inform and inspire others.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD

Today, November 1, 2009, would have been my Dad's 84th birthday. He passed away in 1992 after suffering a stroke a few hours following surgery for prostate cancer. Dad was only 67. It took him 3 months to die. During that time, he worked hard to regain speech and physical abilities we all take for granted. But, he never saw the outside of that hospital after December 18, 1991.

What happened? It wasn't the fault of the doctors that Dad had smoked for 50 years. He was a chain smoker up til the day he scheduled the surgery. Apparently the damage done to his cardiovascular system (the cancer had not spread) and the inability of the doctors to thin his blood as they normally would after a stroke (because he had JUST had major surgery), set him up for more strokes. One on about February 12, 2009 left him vegetative.

Dad had retired a couple years earlier from sales, a career that kept him literally on his feet for at least 8 hours every day. He was tall, thin, and good looking. He had been severely injured in WWII. At one point, he had been told he would never walk again - but walk he did. He coached little league baseball for years for both my brothers. He mowed the lawn, kept the house in good shape with glue and duct tape as he could fix anything, and never missed a day of work. Upon retirement, he and Mom took to the highway in their RV, fulfilling their lifelong dream of traveling throughout the US. They had a ball.

But, Dad was way too fond of TV. Once he retired, he never took an active interest in anything that was remotely physical. He plopped himself in front of that TV for many, many hours each day. Drove Mom nuts as she's not a TV fan, much preferring to read, walk, and cook. Of course, with 8 grandchildren, all local, they had a house full on most Sundays. Dad would drive the little ones around on the riding mower while he cut their football field sized front lawn.

But, sitting was what he did. Mowing, driving, TV. He eschewed any form of physical activity. I firmly believe that Dad would have lived a much longer life had he given up the smokes earlier and taken up almost any physical activity. As I've written here before, walking during TV commercial is one way to get in your 20-30 minutes a day.

Of course, I have no idea what God's plan might have been for Dad. He was a good man who didn't take care of himself. The same could be said of so many of us. My message here, my gift to my Dad on what was his birthday, is to ask everyone to rev up their activity level - just a little each day - and stick around long enough to help raise those kids and grandkids who count on us so much.

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

INTERVAL TRAINING

One day recently, I caught the tail end of a news report on the benefits of interval training. For those unaware, interval training means taking whatever exercise one is doing and pumping it to an extreme for a small amount of time. So, if you're walking at your regular pace, you'd push yourself to walk much faster for, say, 2 minutes out of every 10 minutes. This is an idea I've used for myself.

The aerobic benefits of interval training are well established. Such bursts of activity increase heart rate, expand our lungs further, and improve endurance overall.

So, what's different about what I recently learned? The 'expert' indicated that all these health benefits can be obtained in just 6 minutes. Yep, SIX MINUTES. That sounds great. Six minutes during my walk and I'm a new person. What's the catch?

The catch is that the 6 minutes must be continuous and IT MUST HURT.

That's not what I want to hear. Pain accompanies many forms of exercise. You've heard the expression 'No Pain, No Gain'. But, pain is often an indication that one is overdoing, that there is some physical problem that needs to be addressed, or that the exercise is being done incorrectly. In arm curls, for instance, the arms must be held tightly next to the body, especially if holding any weights. Having the elbows away from the body during curls increases the dynamic weight of the held objects and works muscles not intended to support such weight. What do you get for that? Pain - either now or at some future time.

I must look further into this Six Minute interval training - that for me would be a sustained six minute sprint. Not sure I'm willing to do that. But, I AM willing to work up to that six minutes if an investigation reveals that the benefits are really as described in the initial report.

What about you? Are you up for a 6 minute burst?

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

THE TEN PERCENT SOLUTION

I think there was a book with a title like this years ago. Made me think of that when I was listening to something on TV (nope, not actually watching it). The 'expert' was talking about increasing our activity level by 10% each week. Now, there's an idea that would likely work great for a 'beginner' at the walking thing - or for any other formerly sedentary person who wants to become more active.

So, if you walk 100 yards this week, you walk 110 yards next week.

If you walk 30 minutes this week, walk 33 minutes this week and 36.3 minutes next week. Well, round it up or down to suit you.

Actually, to make it really simple, just keep increasing based on your starting figure. That would work too. So, if you walk 30 minutes this week, just keep increasing by 3 minutes each week. Determine what your longest 'reasonable' time available is and shoot for that. Once you get there - say 1 hour per walk - stay there and pick up 3 minutes of some other activity - ride a stationary bike, pick up some soup cans for your walk, whatever. Even something as simple as balancing on one foot (stand near the kitchen sink so you can grab hold and not fall) for 3 minutes will be a challenge for many and will increase your overall health and fitness level.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, October 9, 2009

HIKER CHICKS

In the October 8, 2009 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there is an article about a group of women who have walked all 30 of the local 30/30 Trails - supposedly trails that can be walked in 30 minutes. This group met at a local Curves Gym whose owner had the idea to get outside the gym for fitness.

Wow. You think she read my blog? The 12 women vary in age from 48-76, proving that sedentary middle-age can be avoided with some simple effort - and with the help of a few friends to make it easier.

I'm going to check out the 30/30 Trails. I wasn't familiar with them. Now, I think I'll check them out.

Today (and yesterday, and the day before, and....), it's been rainy and dreary, necessitating walks at the mall. Tonight, I dance!

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WHY SHOULD I WALK??

Why should you walk? Because your body was designed for walking - you have TWO FEET AND TWO LEGS. Because it's good for your heart, lungs, blood pressure, blood flow, and MOST IMPORTANT, the way you'll feel.

Walk because it's free, easy, accessible. It even becomes fun.

Walk because you CAN. If you're sedentary, if you're unhappy, if you're between jobs, if your health is not great - if you don't walk, you're likely to lose the ability to.

Check out those scooter ads on TV. They are really necessary for some people. But, I've NEVER seen a patient (I work in a doctor's office attached to a very large hospital) who has gotten one of those darn things and went on to get rid of it and walk.

My own brother has a very damaged leg due to a car/motorcycle collision years ago. He has trouble walking and is always in pain. He wanted one of those scooters to get to his mailbox. My wise husband strongly advised my brother against getting the scooter. His advice went something like this, "If you get one of those things, pretty soon you won't be ABLE to walk to the mailbox."

There are plenty of people out there with health issues that make walking difficult or impossible. This message is not for those for whom walking is impossible. But, if walking is difficult for you today, imagine what it'll be like in a few months or years if you don't move your body now!

So, stepping off my soapbox and into my walking shoes, I leave you with this thought.

If you have feet and legs that work, get walking. It doesn't get any better than that. Just ask an amputee........


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

HOW TO WORK IT

If you are new to this blog and new to walking, please go back and read some of the oldest posts. I believe you'll find some good tools there. But, some of them are worth repeating from time to time.

Walking 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles) is what is now recommended for all of us. Five miles seems like a lot. So, set a shorter goal and work up from there.

My actual goal is 6,000 steps a day. I actually measure (by time) only about 3,000 steps. That's the duration of the walk for which I lace on my walking shoes. The other 2,000 steps come from waking here and there as part of my normal activities.

If you're sedentary - I didn't say lazy - you'll walk far less. If you are tied to a desk or tie yourself to an easy chair, you need to find ways to add steps to your daily routine.

Start with baby steps:
*Walk during your break at work.
*Walk up and down the stairs rather than take the elevator. If you work on the 15th floor, take the elevator to 14 and walk up one flight.
*Walk during commercials on TV.
*Walk for 5 minutes after dinner.
*Walk 2 minutes every day this week, 3 minutes every day next week, and so forth. Track this on a calendar so you can see how your walking time is expanding.
*Shoot for at least 20 minutes of sustained walking (all at one time) every day - but BREAK THAT DOWN into smaller chunks til you get there. It's not a race. Use your own judgment about how long you should be walking each day. Just increase that amount as soon as you become comfortable with the distance/time you are walking today.

WHY SHOULD YOU WALK? TUNE IN TOMORROW.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, October 2, 2009

FRIENDS WORK

As regular readers of my ramblings know, I have several walking buddies. My walk-week looks something like this:

Monday - Steph
Tuesday - Laurie
Wednesday - myself or anyone who's available
Thursday - Sally & Betsey at the mall
Friday - Climb all the stairs at work then linedance at 7 PM
Saturday - Sally
Sunday - Sally or Steph

Where'd Kathy go? I miss her, but she's now working full time. We haven't been able to catch up with each other lately.

What about Anngie? She's still on my mind. Got to check her schedule and see what works for both of us. Anngie - if you're reading this. What about Wednesdays??

Sally is the person (along with my mother) who got me interested in walking. She also does water aerobics, step aerobics, and lifts. Go Sally!

Laurie and I reconnected after years of going our separate ways. She's into tapdancing, spinning, and kickboxing.

Steph and I used to work together and she formerly did a variety of workouts - walking, water walking, and more - but her work has really taken over her life. She makes our Monday evening walks a priority, often leaving piles of work on her desk. (She KNOWS what really matters!)

Betsey is a very physically active gal who can 'break' a 15 hand show horse. So, our mall-walking is a breeze for her. Plus, she walks her pack of beagles on the weekends.

So, what's in this for YOU. Call up your old friends. Talk to other walkers at the park. Make some walking connections. I look forward to visiting with everyone one of my walking buddies - who are not just my buddies because they walk with me. But, our hour of walking each week allows us to remain current with each other's lives and makes an hour that I look forward to.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ARE YOU STRUGGLING?

Are you struggling to keep to some sort of walking schedule? It can be difficult to keep that commitment. Here are some strategies that work for me:

1. put it on the calendar
2. make a date with a friend
3. always have your walking shoes and some comfy socks in your car
4. walk indoors if you can't walk outside
5. use your cell phone to stay in touch with your walking bud(dies). Walk and talk together even if you're separated geographically
6. ask someone to remind you to walk
7. ignore housework, office work, other people's ideas of what is important
8. don't give up. If you miss a day or two, get back to it when you can.
9. write it on your hand
10. make yourself a priority.

Remember that Kipling poem with a line like "When everyone around you is losing their heads and blaming it on you"? Life's like that. Don't take the blame. WALK away from it if it's someone else's 'stuff'.

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WHERE'D I GO???

It's Fall in St. Louis - and that means ASTHMA. Drat it! It's the worst thing...... well, not really the worst - but pretty bad.

The medicine may actually be worse than the cure. Being surrounded by a family full of asthmatics - except for the dog who actually causes some of the symptoms some of the time - I'm well aware of my personal 'seaon'. This is it. Last year, I tricked Mother Nature (or the Wicked Witch of West County) by taking preventive medicine every day. This year, I forgot. No one to blame but myself AND the fact that we had September weather in August.

Anyway, my walking has been shot full of holes - days and days of me not putting on my walking shoes. The RULE, I'm told, is that if you're sick from the neck up, you can go about your usual activities, but if you're sick from the neck down, no dice. The lungs are right there in the middle.

I have walked about every third day for the past 2 weeks. That's not much for me. Today, I took the MIL and the pooch to the park to SIT and watch the kiddies play. The dog behaved, as did the MIL, and we drove home after 45 minutes. I feel good enough to go for a walk, but I learned the miserable way the past few weeks to give it a little more time - and a lot more inhalation treatments. So, okay. It's me and the DuoNeb. Not nearly as much fun as walking, I can assure you.

What have you been up to during my absence? Walking I hope. It might have been that weekend of linedancing that did me in.......

Going back to that tomorrow night if I can. We MUST have our priorities.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GIVING UP AND GIVING IN AND SURRENDERING

I have known a number of people who just give up when it comes to mending their health. Walking is probably the best thing one can do for one's health except maybe for never eating anything bad for you or too much of anything. I'm not a person who does much in moderation. You may have figured that out about me by now!

Giving up is not surrender. Giving up is giving in to the slacker side of one's self. Giving up is saying to one's self: I can't do it. I'm not good enough. I'm not worth it. It doesn't matter. No one else cares, so why should I? No one else thinks I'm worth the time for my walk, so why should I?

Do you say that to yourself? If you do, you're giving up by giving in to the Itty Bitty Committee in your head that tells you bad things. Have you heard about the good dog and the bad dog? If you have a good dog and a bad dog and you only feed the bad dog, which one is going to thrive? The bad dog! If you feed the negativity in your head - that Committee that you allow to live rent free in the space you should be saving for all things beautiful and loving - you'll give up.

How is that different than Surrender? Surrender is unconditional turning over of your fate to a Power Greater Than Yourself. No, I'm not an evangelist. I'm not pushing a certain religion. I'm not defining what/who that Greater Power is. For some it's God. For many, it's Nature, the Power of the Universe, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha. But, a Higher Power (hereafter referred to as HP), a power greater than one's self, is - or may be - at work in your life. If that's the case, then you can Surrender yourself - your plans and outcomes, your fate, your future, your wellbeing - to that HP and know that the right path will be revealed to you.

Hmmmm. Why is it called a Path, a Journey? I guess we're each meant to walk our own path. I prefer to share that path with my loved ones and good friends, those who'll walk beside me and wish me well, encourage me, give meaning and richness to my life.

If any of this is a stretch for you, just ignore the HP thing and try to concentrate on doing the next right thing for yourself . If you need help figuring that out or accomplishing it, ask for help. Ask your family and friends. If they don't help, they might not really be friends or people who love you.

There are saboteurs all over the place - many with good intentions. But, telling you that you don't have time to walk, to take care of yourself, telling you or showing you that other things are more important than taking care of yourself, then they are saboteurs. Not intentionally, necessarily. But, if you have saboteurs in your life, PLEASE determine a way to get around them.

Write down your walking goals and other goals you have for taking care of yourself, post those goals where everyone can see them, decorate them with markers and stickers so that everyone can tell they're important. Then, when someone tries to derail you - point to your Pretty Goal Chart and tell the person that you're oh, so sorry that you can't do X, but you have to walk for the next half hour. It won't take too long before THEY give in - before they surrender to your power to take care of yourself.

So, don't give up, don't give in, but Surrender when you can. Lead the way for others. Be that person who takes care of him/herself. In so doing, you'll be far better able to take care of those around you.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I HAVE A GREAT EXCUSE....

I actually had a great excuse to not walk this past Friday and Saturday. Really! What was my excuse? I danced my way through several hours Friday night and for the vast majority of Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:30 that night.

It was a lot of fun, to boot! I've written about my linedancing before. This past weekend was the 10th annual Rebels and Rogues Dance Convention. The Friday night dance was a freebie. The convention itself was very reasonably priced - $45 for a day's worth of classes. Two were offered each hour from 9:00 AM til 4:00 PM, so a total of 14 hours worth of classes. Of course, you could only be in one location each hour.

I took 5 classes, so 5 X 45 minutes for each class, so almost 4 hours of dancing during class. Then, I stayed for the Open Dance Saturday that started at 7:00 PM. I stayed til about 9:30. That's a lot of dancing.

I thought I'd be stiff or at least a bit sore the next morning, but not so. I guess all the walking has paid off in that way too as it's been months since I've been linedancing.

So, please accept my excuse. I did, however, get back to my 'regular' schedule with a 3 mile walk the next day. No excuses for that.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

HOW MUCH BETTER CAN IT GET??


It's Fall in St. Louis. Not officially. But, we've had September weather all of August, so I predict October weather for September. It doesn't look like this yet - but it will soon.

Actually, while driving to a meeting yesterday evening, I saw my first tree ablaze with bronze and gold leaves! Such a beautiful sight for such a season of dread for me.

I just hate cold weather. St. Louis is typically damp, windy, and cold in late Fall and much of winter. We get our share of snow, but it doesn't usually stay on the ground for long. Ice is another issue. Many Fall and Winter mornings, walking outside is just not safe because of the ice that remains in shady areas.

But, this afternoon and yesterday afternoon - late afternoon, after work - I walked. It was just beautiful. Not terribly humid. Sunny but with a nice, gentle breeze. How much better can it get than that?







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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GET A BETTER MOOD FAST

According to an article in the Parade of August 23, 2009, you can "Get A Better Mood Fast" with less than a half hour of moderate exercise. A study (funded by YOU) at the University of Vermont showed that everyone in the exercise group demonstrated a 'significant positive effects on mood' for up to 12 hours AFTER a 20 minute session of moderate exercise, working at 60% of their aerobic capacity.

WOW! They need to pay ME for that information. I could have given them proof positive for lots fewer $$. Yes, I know it's anecdotal - but it's still true. One of the reasons - perhaps the most important of reasons - that I walk daily is to keep me in a positive frame of mind.

When things are going poorly one day, when something annoying, disconcerting, or depressing has happened, I can put on my walking shoes and WALK IT OFF. Can you?

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A SHAMELESS PLUG...

Herein is a shameless plug for my daughter's latest endeavor. However, we can make it about walking. Really! She walked many miles every day while working for the charity that got her interested in this. The other two young people involved in this are top notch - Sean is in his first year of law school at CUNY and Emily is a senior at Mizzou and is involved in various charity projects like CASA and participates in a grant writing internship. These three will be a force to reckon with. While their project is very ambitious, these three can pull it off.

So, check it out! http://www.urbanvolunteer.blogspot.com/

If you know a young person who wants to do some community service or a youngster who might need some help with his/her self esteem and self sufficiency, point them to this blog and let them read and add their thoughts.

I appreciate the support of anyone who would like to link to Kami's blog.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

HOW TO JOIN THE STEPTEMBER CHALLENGE





The America On The Move website does not make it clear how to register to join our group, St. Louis Strollers. To join us, please go to:
https://register.americaonthemove.org/

click on the 'join' site
click on your description - lie if you want
then, you can enter our group's ID which is : RST156002

Then, email me with your minutes or steps (if you have a pedometer) and I'll post that on the website.

It appears that the website has had a redesign since I wrote my first article about it a couple days ago. No more prizes. But, I think it'll be fun to participate in anyway.

I'll not post an update on their website every day, so you don't need to email me EVERY day with your info - but do keep posting me on a regular basis. I'll try to post everyone's stats on Sunday evenings if not at other times during the week.

From my friend Sally who has used a pedometer for years, the cheap ones are just as good as the expensive ones. So, if you want to get one, don't break the bank. Throw it away when it stops working. A new one at Walgreen's doesn't cost any more than the cost of the replacement battery.

So, gear up for our August 24, 2009 start date. Join us!

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

KEEPING TRACK

I think I've written before about some ways of tracking one's progress. Sadly, most of the sites online are keyed to weight loss more than exercise even if they include an exercise tracker. But, I've found a few I like.

http://fitday.com/ is a free site with a premium option (that costs of course). Depending on what you want to track, this site might be perfect for you. I do not like that they advertise weight loss surgery, but I'm able to ignore that and click on the 'Activities' tab to track my activities. I also find their 'Lifestyle' categories baffling. I do sit a lot at work, but I'm also up and down a lot, walking from my desk to the front of the office, about 50 yards, many times a day AND I'm a dedicated walker. They should have more categories. But, it still has an attractive activity tracker, so it might suit the needs of others.

Here's a neat site I just signed up for. I'm taking the Steptember Challenge starting August 24. Wanna join me? If so, join at this site, and continue through a couple pages til you get to the bottom of the complete registration page where they ask if you want to participate in the Steptember Challenge. Here's how to become a St. Louis Stroller (whether you live in these parts or not!). I'm the Group Admin, so I'll keep track of all our activities. You can use a pedometer to register steps or time which will be converted by the website.

You've successfully set up the group: st louis strollers

Your group Registration Code: RST156002

To invite others to participate in your America On the Move group, ask them to:

1. Go to https://register.americaonthemove.org
2. When asked "What would you like to do," select "Join a group"
3. Use Group Registration Code: RST156002
4. Answer all other registration questions

I believe you'll have to email me your steps or time from August 24 through October 16 (42 days) and I'll track them on the site. Prizes are to be awarded on the site. Couldn't hurt to win some cash or a great prize for just walking, could it? EMAIL ME AT JDWLN320@GMAIL.COM
with WALK CHALLENGE in the subject line. No need to email every day. Maybe once a week and I'll post everyone's standings once or twice a week.

Please let me know, also, if you find other sites that are good at tracking activities, especially those that will convert other kinds of activities, like dancing, swimming, biking, into units compatible with steps. I'm sure they're out there.






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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

Time gets away from me. I realized today I hadn't blogged here since early in August. But, not to fear. I HAVE been walking. Also doing yard work and working at my supposedly part time job that has recently expanded to just about full time with the absence of the lead secretary. Now, I'm hastily trying to prepare my house for the arrival of my mother in law and sister in law. MIL will be here for several months. SIL will be here for about a week.

I enjoy the company of both of them, especially that of my MIL. She's a very upbeat person, congenitally happy like my husband. Oh, to have been born that way! She is also a walker. At age 86, she walks about a mile each morning - while I'm still sleeping. She walks slowly because of a knee problem, but she's persistent.

In December, 2004 when there was that huge earthquake and tsunami that hit south India, my MIL was out walking near the beach and didn't feel a thing! I, on the other hand, had been sound asleep nearby and was rattled to wake by my metal bedframe dancing across the room! Had no idea what was happening until we turned the news on that afternoon! I happened to be visiting India just in time for those events. We were all safe with no property damage, no people damage, and very little inconvenience.

At any rate, if you've ever been in my house, you'll be very aware of the fact that I'm NOT an organized person, NOT a good housekeeper, and really don't give a darn. But, I do NEED to have room in my house for the extra bodies, so I must unearth the beds that I feel sure are still in my son's room (since his return to the nest).

That said, I still walked this morning before I began the day's housecleaning adventures. Adventure because one never knows what one will find under each stack of books, yarn, clothes, etc. Always an adventure.

But, my walk this morning and yesterday morning jumpstarted me. I had been feeling blah and forced myself to walk - and that gave me so much energy that I've gotten far more work done than I had planned. Doesn't hurt to be ahead of schedule does it. Might go for another walk this evening........

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

IN JUST TEN MINUTES??

Did you know that you can "reduce your risk of major disease and improve your quality of life" in just 10 minutes a day of moderate exercise? Do you need to hear more? This is from a brief column in the Parade Magazine of August 9, 2009.

Just 10 minutes a day? Can that be possible? Yep! If you've been around here long, you've read my pleas for just 15-20 minutes a day - but starting with just 1 or 2 minutes a day if you've never done any sort of physical activity (since your hopscotch days, anyway) and/or you're just 'out of shape'. Start small but think big! Work a little bit a day til you've gotten to the 10 minute mark.

If you started of at 1 minute a day and worked your way up to 10 minutes a day, you KNOW you can get to 20 minutes a day. That's just 140 minutes a week or a tiny bit more than 2 hours. A week! Invested in nothing or no one but yourself! Definitely doable.

The science behind the 10 minutes a day is from research done by Dr. Tim church in Baton Rouge, LA. He states, "For sedentary individuals, the immediate health benefits are huge. We saw a change in waist size in just 70 minutes of moderate excercise such a s walking.....Short bouts of exercise can also affect how your body metabolizes blood sugar for up to 72 hours (Italics are mine.)......Walking a few minutes a day ...... will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and many other conditions."

No excuses. Get moving. Heat and humidity are no reason for slacking off. Go to the mall, the grocery store or the hardware store. Did you know that you can take your dog into Home Depot? Both of you can get in your walk.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

WALKING WONDERLAND

We have had such marvelous weather here for walking lately that I'm really afraid to say that aloud! Today was another sunny but breezy day with low humidity.

I walked along the Mockingbird Park/Cardinal Park/Fishpot Creek trail again today. I actually did some exploring too. Walked farther west through a subdivision and wound up at Clarkson Road! Had me a bit disoriented - but I just retraced my steps.

The park trail is so cool and shady, it's just a joy to walk. As I walked along Fishpot Creek, I was thinking of Kimothy who had posted here about walking in the Fishpot creek bed for miles. I remember doing that sort of thing in the small town in Arkansas where my grandparents lived. The creeks were clean and cool. We'd find 'deep' swimming holes, 'rapids', and 'lazy rivers'. We also would 'fish' for crawdads (crayfish for you Northerners!). They're fun to catch with a chicken leg tied to a string. You can catch a bunch that way. Too small for eating, but fun to catch and release.

Today, I even ventured off the trail to get a closer look at some of the deeper pools in the creek. Most of the creek bed is dry, but there are still pools that look to be several feet deep. Lots of run-off from all the houses nearby but surprisingly free of trash. Still, I won't be dunking myself in any of the streams or creeks in this heavily populated area.

Tomorrow, I'll probably be back on the track with my friend Laurie after work. But, today was just me and nature......




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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My 'Secret' Trail

I decided to walk around the grounds of the grade school that is just a few blocks from my house. I'd never been on the school premises except to drop off paper in their recycle bins. My son had recently walked the grounds and indicated that it was a nice school.

It helped that a bag of 'freecycle' clothing had been abandoned on my front porch for weeks. There's also a clothing donations box on the school grounds. So, I slung the bag over my shoulder and set off for the school.

The first thing I noticed about the school which I pass almost daily but never get a good look at was that there are two handball-like courts built into the front of the school! I played racquetball for years and thought this might be a neat place for my daughter to practice her tennis shots. Alas, the 'courts' are in very bad repair and are kiddie-sized. No idea what their actual intended use might be.

The grounds had been recently resurfaced, with a fresh coat of paint defining parking areas, hop scotch grids, and a variety of other games I can only guess at. There's also a shiny new kiddie playground at the back of the school. While walking the perimeter of the grounds, I noticed an asphalt trail that disappeared in woods behind the school. So, I disappeared in the woods on that trail.

It's a very short, uphill climb through a heavily wooded acre of land. The trail ends in a residential cul de sac I'd never walked in. But, I was oriented and knew how to loop around the subdivision to get back home without retracing my steps. Here's the loop:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

From the red Point A, trace a line down and to the right to a cul de sac off a street named Courtland Place. That's where the trail goes. I walked down the cul de sac to the next cross street two blocks away, turned right and walked back to the main street, Hanna Road, where our local Senior High is, then back home via Hanna Road. Actually, I walked down behind the High School and took a couple laps on their nice, padded track, climbed stairs up behind the parking lot and tennis courts, and strolled through the subdivision directly across Hanna Road from the elementary school.

I LOVE the little trail. It's so shady that the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. I walked the same trail the next day but turned left through the subdivision to take another route home. This little trail seems like my own secret. But, now, of course, I've shared it with you. I'm on the lookout for other similar little trails. If you know of any in this area, please share!

There was an extra little treat in that I got to walk within a few feet of a Red Tailed Hawk who was stalking something in the grass near the playground. I've got one hanging out in my back yard these days, preying on my albino squirrels. Such is nature.






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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WALK LIKE AN...........EUROPEAN

My son was cursing St. Louis' lack of mass transit again today. He's minus an auto, so he has to rely on others (me) for rides. He gave up his car when he moved to Washington, DC and got used to living without one, walking to and from work, using the Metro (subway) system there. All his errands were on foot - or 'by walk' as they say in India.

This same son had backpacked around Europe a couple years ago, before moving to DC. He walked, took trains, ferries, and bikes to navigate his way across the Continent. He fell in love with that lifestyle which he finds to be much more relaxed and natural than our national reliance on and addiction to oil. He's also spent significant amounts of time in India with his grandparents, walking around town on their errands and visits.

In a city like St. Louis, there is very little occasion for daily walking if it's not a 'recreational' walk. Oh yeah, you might walk a block or two from your parking garage to your office, from parking lot to classroom building, and, if you're fortunate enough to live or work with walking distance of our very limited Metro system, you'd walk for that.

Mind you, in our humidity, I'd need to take a shower AFTER I got to work. I've considered riding a bike to work, but I'd have to ride along a 4-6 lane highway, on the shoulder, to get there via any sort of reasonable route. People in St. Louis seem to be IN LOVE with their automobiles. Many people drive 60-90 minutes each way to work! If I could walk the 1/2 mile from my house to the main road and hop on a bus or subway to get to work, I'd gladly part with our second car or maybe even both our cars.

It's a good thing I like to walk. At least this way, I'm able to explore my neighborhood, run a few errands, and get to know local folks at no additional expense. Just found another 'new' trail that I'll share about soon.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

FISHPOT CREEK

Turns out the scenic little creek I walked along last Tuesday is called Fishpot Creek. You can sorta' see where I walked if you look at this mapquest link:


http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Ballwin&state=MO&address=Mar+El+Lane&zipcode=63021

This link is even better. Apparently, I was in Mockingbird Park!

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

Next week, I'm going to look for Cardinal Park. Looks like it's not a far walk from where I park on Mar El Lane. Wanna come??


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ANNGIE AND THE 'NEW' TRAIL - A BALLWIN, MO ADVENTURE

I found a new trail! And, a new walking friend. Both on the same day and walk. Lucky me.

Anngie and her King Charles Spaniel, Lucy, were minding their own business when I accosted them the other day. I had just found a great little paved trail and couldn't find it's name. Further, I wasn't sure where I was! So, as is my habit, I began talking to the next person who crossed my path. Enter Anngie and Lucy. Anngie didn't know the name of the trail, but she knew where we were and that the trail is about a half mile long. She and Lucy were headed in the opposite direction from me, heading back to the point I had picked up the trail. So, I asked if they'd mind if I walked along.

This little trail runs along a creek between two subdivisions in Ballwin, Missouri. I entered it from Flesher Lane and exited at its western end on Corral. I didn't take either of the 'branches', two foot bridges that crossed the creek and headed off into other subdivisions. The trail is asphalt paved and contains a couple of nice hills. And, it's just lovely - shady and cool. I felt like I was walking in deep woods rather than behind tract homes about a quarter mile from one of the busiest roads in St. Louis County, Manchester Road.

Anngie and Lucy were very pleasant walking companions. Our walk together lasted only about 20 minutes, but we got to know each other a bit and passed the time I needed to wait to pick up my son.

I plan to walk this trail again and search out others too. How did I find it? I had an hour to kill and hadn't had my walk that day. My regular Tuesday evening walking partner had to work late, so I chose to use the hour I needed to wait for my son to walk in the subdivision streets near where I parked. There were three cul de sacs and the trail 'head' was at the end of the third cul de sac. Had I not walked all the way to the end of Fleshman, I wouldn't even have seen the trail!

I've mapquested and called Parks Departments in the entire West County area, looking for trails like this one. I haven't had much luck. Either I'm not asking the right questions or these trails are not properly catalogued. If you know of a trail like this one in West County or anywhere in the St. Louis area, please post it here for me. I'm always looking for new territory to cover.

More on this tomorrow....


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

ROUND OR STRAIGHT??

While walking on the track can be convenient and often easier on the body than walking up and down hills on streets or trails, walking in a circle can present a problem. It's too easy to bail out when you pass your 'heading home' point every time you go around the track!

One advantage of walking a trail or on the street is that one must get to the most distant point of the walk before turning around to head back home. That can keep us walking longer. Some days, it's just too easy to cut out that last 1/4 mile circuit when I'm walking on the track. While I might cut a street walk short, I can't bail on the whole thing just because I get tired or unmotivated.

So, if you find yourself becoming bored with walking at the mall or on a track, head for the streets of your neighborhood or a trail somewhere. You can find some routes in your neighborhood by using mapquest.com or mapmywalk.com. There might be routes in your area that you hadn't even known about. Your local Parks Department can also be a good source for information about walking trails near you.

My husband and I will often pick a 'destination' walk on the weekend. We'll pack up the dog and head to a lake or park a bit farther afield than I normally walk alone. There's even a pretty park where we can walk along a river not that far from our home. When we dedicate an hour to walking, we will get in AT LEAST 45 minutes. That's close enough to 3 miles to suit me! The hills help improve the work out too. Can't go wrong there.

So, walk at the mall or on a track if/when it suits you, but don't be tempted to abbreviate your walk because it's so easy to do. Commit yourself to a minimum number of circuits or X number of minutes for walking. That way, your're more likely to get in a good walk!


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Heaping Helping of Humidty Laden Motivation

Ok - so how do we keep motivated to walk when it's this hot and humid?

How do we manage the extra time it takes to repair damage to hair and skin? Some days I have to shower and wash my head twice! I REQUIRE 'wash and wear' hair. That gets expensive in my case - a perm every 6 weeks and a haircut about every 4 weeks. Fortunately, my haircut standards aren't very high so I cut it myself between perms. My poor stylist has to deal with my hair-butchery. Just cut my mom's hair today as we're on the same perm/cut schedule - and we're overdue for our perms.

Anyway - back to motivation. Are you motivated to keep going? I find that my walks give me so much energy - like putting money in the bank. The more I walk, the more energetic I become. While I need an initial rest period after a 'wringing wet walk', my energy level soon zooms up and keeps me moving forward.

I had to work up to this. It doesn't just automatically happen. One must develop tolerance to the heat and humidity and build up endurance levels. You MUST start slow if you aren't used to walking or you're not used to the heat/humidity.

There's nothing saying, of course, that one MUST walk outside in the hot weather. It's just that I much prefer walking outside most of the time and I felt the need to improve my endurance and tolerance of heat when I first began walking.

Much the same can be said of winter walking too. Sometimes, it's just too cold (or icy or rainy) to walk outside, either comfortably or safely. We must each use our own judgment and follow our own preferences.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WRINGING WET

While the heat and humidity continue pretty much unabated, I still managed to walk TWICE today. That's SIX miles, thank you very much.

This morning, while yesterday evening's cool front was still with us, Steph and I walked three miles at Des Peres park, up and down the hills there. It was a glorious morning. I came home to change then ran some errands on the way to spend a few hours with my mom. Ended up giving her a hair cut and having a nice chat. I was so energetic.

When I got home, I did laundry and other stuff around the house, including helping my daughter make some brownies, but got antsy. So, Sally and I met at the mall for another couple miles. I may have not made it to exactly 6 miles, but based on time, that's what I'm calling it.

Even in the mall, the humidity still gets to me. But, I don't care - unless I am trying to retain an acceptable appearance for some after-walk appointment. That's a problem for me on Tuesday evenings when Laurie and I walk and I then attend a gathering for about 90 minutes before going home. Those folks are going to have to get used to seeing (but I hope not smelling) me wringing wet.

Wringing wet is what I get from this weather. Drippy from the head down. Sunscreen running into my eyes (no matter how much they swear you can't sweat it off), burning and no longer offering any sort of protection. BTW - be sure to use that stuff if you're fair skinned &/or light-eyed. I've already had one skin cancer removed from my face!

Anyway, Steph and I are scheduled to walk again Monday after work. Wringing wet or not, I'm still going at it!


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Monday, June 22, 2009

UNCLE ??

How hot is too hot to walk? Depends on who you are and where in the world you are. Folks who normally reside in the tropics would have no trouble with the weather we are currently enduring in the St. Louis area. Right now, it's 96 degrees F with heat factor of 104. That's hot!

Normally, I'll trek in any weather. Although I look simply horrible, inspiring the need in others to seek medical care for me because I turn so beet red, during and for a long time after a walk in this type weather, I'll still do it. I stick to level terrain and leave the dog at home. Take plenty of water and end my walk if/when the going gets too tough.

But, if you're elderly, out of shape, heat-intolerant, or just blame tired, stay inside for your walk. You'll still heat up as the A/C just can't get all the humidity out of the air. THEN you have to go get into your overheated auto for the drive home.

Seems daunting - but don't give up. Take it slow and build up your tolerance for this weather. It can be done!


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WHAT'S IN YOUR EARS??

I've written that I enjoy listening to my ipod while I walk - unless I'm walking with a buddy. What do YOU listen to?

ipod or other source of music
ipod or other source of talk - radio or book
walking buddy in person
walking buddy on the cell phone
sounds of nature
what else??

So, please share what's in your ears while you're walking?

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SOME GOOD ARTICLES

Here are links to a couple of good articles about walking. Please let me know your thoughts on them.


http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/walking/a2004-06-17-walking-downsizing.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/page2.htm#tocd


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Another Walking DVD

Ya'll know I'm a fan of Leslie Sansone's Walking DVD's. I've blogged about them before. At the library the other day, I ran across this DVD:


I took it home and checked it out. It's got many of the same 'moves' as the Sansone routines. Sansone usually has someone on screen who does a less strenuous version of whatever she's doing. So, if you can't raise your knees or hands as high as Sansone does, you have a visual guide who will demonstrate the next best thing. This is a good idea for those with physical impairments or beginners who have yet to build the endurance to keep up with Sansone's pace.

Madeleine Lewis is the 'guru' on the Get Moving! routine. The setting is a sort of pavillion out of doors, so it's visually appealing. Further, in addition to a side kick who does a less strenuous routine, there's also one who does a MORE strenuous routine. That is, the gal to Lewis' left is rocking away like crazy - doing more of a run than a walk, hopping, skipping, etc. A much higher impact workout than any sort of walk could be considered.

I think this might be a good purchase for some walkers, especially those who are younger and more fit without the arthritis that prevents many of us (yep, me) from participating in higher impact routines. I can see a beginner buying one of these DVD's and being able to get maximum benefit from it as s/he progresses in endurance and devotion to exercise.

It's available at www.half.com for less than $10 and at the library for a couple of weeks for free. Always a good idea to 'test drive' before you buy.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Walking Long Distance??

Are you interested in (or have the ability to) walk to a distant location, like, say Alaska? How about Hawaii - or Australia. A few years ago, my mom and her walking buddies decided to walk to Australia, a land they had all wanted to visit. So, they began logging their walked miles to meet their destination goal.

Here's a bit of inspiration for determining where you might like to walk:

http://www.spiritofwomen.com/walkwithspirit/hosp_maps/wws_map.pdf

So, where'd you like to walk? I'm heading to Eureka Springs, Arkansas - one of the most beautiful places on this continent first. Then, I'll see where I go from there.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

TRACK YOUR WALKS - JOURNAL IT

Mapmywalk.com has come up with a nifty, free online way for us to track our walks. Here's the link:

http://www.mapmywalk.com/training

It's easy to use and might be a useful tool for walkers to sustain their motivation.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

PEDOMETER FOR IPODS





If you are fortunate enough to have an iPhone or an iPod, this might be for you! It's a free downloadable pedometer for just those applications. Not sure I'm savvy enough to figure it out, but if you have a techie available to you (and the requisite iPhone or iPod), you'll have access to it in no time.

http://www.awaretechs.com/StepTrakLite.html


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A BIT MORE ON RACEWALKING

I hope you checked out the racewalking tutorial I linked in my last blog. Here's a bit more information for you on racewalking:

http://www.eracewalk.com/PlusType.htm

Which one are you?



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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

RACEWALKING

A couple years ago, there was an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Racewalking. This is a competitive sport that is a different technique than regular walking. I've tried it in the past. In gym class in about 9th grade, we were actually taught the technique. I didn't master it!

When the article was published, there was contact information for a local club, so I emailed. I got no reply and quickly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when I received a warm email a few days ago from a woman who has taken over the local groups website and has responded to a backlog of emails that included mine.

Although I had forgotten about the club, I immediately recalled the article when I read the email. This groups meets at a local high school track on Monday evenings for practice. They're willing to teach the technique, and, although they do have competitions and enforce the organization's rules, they are happy to have people join in the events who are not 'legal'. That would be me - at least initially.

So, I'm thinking of giving it a whirl. The high school is not terribly close to me, but to go even a few times to learn the technique properly would be a plus. They sponsor events at other locations for a small fee. This does sound like fun.

For more information on the technique and possible groups in your location, check out this tutorial:


http://www.eracewalk.com/Tuto01/Tuto0101.htm

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY

After the pleasant, but sometimes soggy Memorial Day weekend, I thought our St. Louis weather would become both dryer and hotter. Not so. Yesterday, I had the difficult task of driving through monsoon-like sheets of sideways rain, wind rocking my car to and fro on the highway! Not fun.

Fortunately, I had absconded from the office earlier in the day for a late 'lunch' (er, walk) with Kathy who kindly accommodates my meandering work schedule when she can. It's best for me to have someone to walk and talk with. We were fortunate to squeeze in a nice walk amidst the overcast and sometimes sunny early afternoon before the monsoon-like weather struck.

Otherwise, I've been walking in the malls when I must. At least it's a place to walk and chat with a friend. I'm not much of a shopper, so I only do a bit of window-browsing on my walks. I walk at three different malls, all about the same distance from my home. I'm lucky in that regard.

Did you know that the malls in the St. Louis area actually host walking clubs? Did you know that they actually open their doors early enough to accommodate seniors and others who wish to walk before work? This is a nice 'perk' of living in a major metropolitan area. If I didn't have walking buddies but wanted to make some, I'd definitely head for a mall to look for an organized (albeit usually casually) walking group.



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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, May 22, 2009

FEET HURT??

I visited my favorite orthopedist this past week because I have a number of 'issues' about which I was seeking his input. My right wrist pain isn't terribly pertinent to my walking, but it is pertinent to my blogging (and my crochet) among other things. But, the pain on the outside of my right knee (at the top of the tibia) and the corn on my right foot are both deterrents to walking.

My orthopedist knows me well - after two knee replacements, one broken wrist, and a variety of other arthritis related complaints. But, he also knows that I'm not a complainer and I'm going to remain active at all cost. He's with me on that. He's also not eager to jump in with a scalpel to solve all my problems. No, scalpels and pills just don't solve the vast majority of health issues. What does? Lifestyle changes. No kidding. No magic pill - just hard work at changing bad habits, of which I have plenty.

I had already switched to my orthpedist's preferred brand of athletic shoes (New Balance) and use the orthotic inserts he prescribes (also NB). Now, I've got to ratchet things up a bit to solve my ongoing problems. I need the densest orthotic NB makes or will have to pop for a custom made one. I don't even want to research the prices on those. But, the orthotic will solve both the corn and the tendon attachment problem that is bugging me below my right (and newest) knee.

Also, I'm the proud owner of a vecro-laden, rigid 'cock-up' (No kidding. That's the official name of this particular one.) wrist brace that I need to wear at night. He also informed me that I can, and indeed am well advised to, begin using the computer mouse with my left hand. No need for anything special here - except the presence of a human being under age 40 to program the computer so that the existing mouse can be adapted for left-hand use. Who knew such things were possible? Well, I guess my orthopedist and Bill Gates are in on this secret.

But, back to my walking 'issues'. Here's the deal. I'm optimistic that the relatively easy and certainly non-invasive 'prescriptions' will bring me pain relief. But, whether the do or not, I'm still gonna walk. Here's the thing about pain - once you've clearly determined that the pain you're experiencing will not be made worse with exercise or use - you're gonna have it whether you exercise or not - so get walking!

As I've stated before on this blog (possibly ad nauseum), our bodies are designed for walking. In my case, my well-designed walking body would work a great deal better with the absence of some 20 or so pounds I've added to it over the past year, what with knee surgery and thyroid issues. Neither of those is an excuse. I gotta do the work to get back where I was before my knee surgery last June.

So, work with me here. Keep me walking. Keep me motivated. I'm writing to help all of us with those issues. But, reader suggestions are always welcome - encouraged, in fact. Motivation 101 - Just Do It.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WAYS TO REMAIN ACTIVE

If you're new to an area or new to walking or other activities, how do you discover what's going on with this particular activity in your locale? Try this site for lots of help:


http://www.active.com/

There's a simple search engine/questionnaire that will prompt you to look for activities - team or solo. Walking wasn't one of the choices, so I entered it myself and still found lots of upcoming events and events that had occurred in the recent past. If you're interested in walking for a 'cause', this site is perfect for you.

If you'd like to get your kids involved in team sports or find an adult league for yourself, the info is here. Check it out!
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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Monday, May 18, 2009

GOING DOWN

If you have bad knees, you may well find climbing hills or stairs easier than going down them!

I have a short, very steep stretch of pavement near my house. I mean steep! I don't enjoy climbing it - but I positively hate walking down it. Not only do I feel like I might fall off and roll down it, I find that it's harder on my knees to descend it than to ascend it.

Having had both knees replaced, this hill is not the challenge it once was. But, if you have any knee problems - or maybe other joint issues - you may find that walking down steep inclines is hazardous to your health.

Take it slow. Hold onto something if you can - like a handrail. Pay attention to your footing so that you don't take a misstep.

Then, don't worry about it. There's not much aerobic benefit to walking DOWN hill! Much more beneficial to trudge up that hill. Read my article on Hilly Strategies for getting up those hills.

Of course, if you walk outside, you're likely to have to walk down hills if you walk up them. I actually have found a regular walk in my neighborhood which is almost all uphill. Really! Look around your area and see if you can find such a trail. If you're able to walk in a circle rather than 'there and back', you'll likely find a course that'll work to your aerobic advantage by keeping you on the uphill. Work up to that cuz it's really good for your heart - and your head. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you'll get going up and down hill if all you've ever walked is level pavement!



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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

HILLY STRATEGIES

Have you tackled hills yet? Lots of walkers stick to the track, mall, or other level areas. Nothing wrong with that. But, you'll get more bang for your buck - more aerobic and endurance benefits if you walk some hills. These hills needn't be like THE HILL that I've written about earlier. There are strategies for any incline. Try some of these if you want to take to the hills.

Get warmed up first on the level surfaces. Walk at a pace where you can talk comfortably without getting out of breath. Start with a slight incline and one that's not too long.

To walk from my house the approximately 1/2 mile to the park I frequent, I must toddle uphill about 2/3 of the way. It's not a steep incline. But, it's steady. Driving it, you'd never think that it's much of an incline at all. Different when you're on foot. This is the first stretch of my walk, if I head in that direction, so I'm not warmed up when I start out. In fact, to get out of my street to walk anywhere else, I must walk past 6 houses, each on a 1/2 acre lot. That's not so far, but can be a challenge if you're not used to it.

Further, although the track at the park looks flat, it's not. There's a steady incline on it's northern 'leg'. You notice that when it's 98 degrees outside and you're on you're third mile!! Otherwise it's not of much notice.

If you're new to walking hills, keep it simple. Once you're warmed up, head for the hill and take it slow. Also, be sure you don't lean too far forward to compensate for the incline. I find myself doing this too often. It's a mistake. It feels easier at first - but over time, you realize that it's easier to remain upright and use your thigh muscles to get up that hill. Kinda like climbing stairs only you don't have to step quite so high.

If you find yourself getting winded - just slow down and take it easy. Stop talking and concentrate on your breathing. One way to get your breath back easily is to practice 'pursed mouth breathing'. This is an old trick used by asthmatics who have impaired oxygen exchange. The idea is to blow out kinda like you're blowing up a balloon - only not so hard. That expels the spent air from your lungs and allows more oxygen in. This is sound science. Just try it. You'll find your 'second wind' comes much more easily.

Continue walking if you can. To obtain the best aerobic advantage, you shouldn't stop and stand still once you've raised your heart rate. Just slow down. Disclaimer - IF YOU HAVE CHEST PAIN OR FEEL FAINT, CALL FOR HELP IMMEDIATELY. I'm not a doctor. Trust your own judgment.

Once you can comfortably climb a slight incline while talking, go for a longer incline and then a steeper incline. If you feel stranded on a steep incline, turn around and walk back down or zig zag up to diminish the steepness. You have seen trails up the side of a mountain - they always zig zag or go around the mountain since going straight up is just too steep for foot or auto traffic.

Of course, you can receive these same aerobic benefits on a treadmill by increasing the slope. Most treadmills have a way to select the incline. Build up to a fairly steep incline over time. It takes work. It won't come easily to many of us. That's why we start slow.

But, keep at it. Even if you only increase the incline a tiny bit each week, if you persist, you'll be climbing mountains before you know it. The gym has the advantage of climate control - not something available to those of us who trudge around outside. But, however you get to that 'hill', you'll appreciate the way you feel once you've climbed it.

Now that you've climbed up, I have some ideas for descending from the summit. Stay tuned.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MAKING LISTS

I have a bunch of friends who are really well organized, have tidy homes, run errands in proper order, cook according to menus they prepare with food they purchase at the grocery store from the lists they've written. I envy them. This sense of organization eludes me.

But, I have gotten a handle on one thing. Making lists when I need to get things done. I don't do it on a daily basis for things like errands and the grocery store. But, when I get especially busy, like around the holidays, I make lists of everything I have to do and use those lists.

Lists are magical! Really! If I write something on a piece of paper, like a list, I'm far more likely to get it done than if I just make a mental note.

You, like me, probably here all the TV gurus like Dr. Phil talk about 'putting yourself on the list'. I usually find that amusing. Yeah, right. I'm going to write my name at the top of the list of all the things I have to do. What? Am I a chore?

No, not a chore - but I have things I want to get done and things I 'need' to get done. Those lists need to be merged and prioritized. Now, I get it.

Here's what works for me. If I write down something, I'm likely to do it. It's kind of like a promise to myself. So, if I write that I'm going for a walk at 5 PM today, then it's far more likely that I'll actually go for that walk than if I just have a plan that after work, and after I get home, and after I empty the dishwasher, and after I get dinner started, and........

Well, you get the idea. If I wait til all those things get done, I'll never have time to go for a walk.
So, I have to PUT MYSELF on the list. I write down that I'll take a walk - and I will! Try it. See if it works for you.

Later, I'll tell you another story about writing promises to yourself.



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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MAP MY WALK

Thanks so much to Lisa who posted a comment informing me (and all of us) about the site www.mapmywalk.com.

There's a wealth of information on this site that will benefit all of us. Please check it out! I'd love to hear back from readers to learn which parts of sites like www.mapmywalk.com are the most useful, helpful, satisfying, etc.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

UNINTENTIONAL?

Is your walking intentional or unintentional? Most of it will be unintentional - rather, as a product of daily life. We typically must walk around the house, at our place of work, to run errands, etc. Most of us can't NOT walk.

What about intentional walking? That's what most of this blog is about. But, we shouldn't dismiss the unintentional. Since the American Heart Association and other 'healthy' organizations encourage us to walk 6000 steps a day, we can wear a pedometer to determine how close to that we come without 'intentional' walking.

That said - we NEED to do some intentional walking. That unintentional stuff is all fine and well. We usually can't avoid it no matter how we might try. How many times have you driven around a parking lot to get a 'good' parking spot - meaning the one closest to the door? Guilty.

The unintentional walking is good for us. It'll keep our bodies in better shape than doing no walking at all. Once we confine ourselves, or are confined or unable to walk, it's really difficult to maintain a healthy (or even reasonable) body weight. But, the unintentional walking is what'll keep our heads on straight, make our lives better, bring us all the added benefits that I've written about before.

So, do the unintentional all you must - but head for the intentional too. It's a completely different mind-set that comes over us when we walk intentionally. It's a whole different mind-set that gets us out the door to walk (or to the gym or mall or around the living room) to improve our health and quality of life.

It's the intentional that'll keep us moving forward at our best.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

JOT DOWN A FEW THINGS ABOUT YOUR WALK

Continuing on the theme I recently wrote about from SAS, their idea to jot down a few things about your walk. Their little walking journal includes these headings:
Date
Distance in Miles
Minutes per Walk

Pretty good for starters. Some other items to note might be:
Weather
Where You Walked
With Whom You Walked
Feelings at the start of the walk - happy, sad, tired, angry, groggy, etc.
Feelings at the end of the walk - energetic, revived, tired, sweaty, happy, not-angry.
What you saw on your walk - especially if there was something of interest.

Why note these things in a walking journal? We forget things so quickly. One day blends into another. Walking is not only about starting with baby steps and working toward miles. It's also about exploring the world around you, making friends, learning more about ourselves, accomplishing our goals, encouraging others, and much more.

Your journal can be a tool to motivate yourself to walk farther, more often, harder. It can give you a good handle on which walking situation works best for you. Does one friend make you push farther than another? Does one route especially appeal to you? Does walking improve your state of mind? Does walking make you tired or energetic?

So, start with a simple journal. Start with those few headings - Date, Distance in Miles (or feet or yards), and Minutes. But, at least for now, leave an extra area with no heading and write down in that box anything special you note about your walk - mood, weather, beauty of your surroundings, a secret you were told (in code, of course), something you learned about yourself (you CAN walk a mile!!!).

Later, you may find some other headings to be useful or imformative. What a great record of progress and accomplishment you'll be creating for yourself!


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Friday, May 8, 2009

SAN ANTONIO STROLL

I took my mom to the SAS (San Antonio Shoes) store at an outlet mall about an hour's drive from home. Mom, at age 86, is still very active and loves her walks. However, she wears an 8.5 AAAA shoe and there are hardly any of those made anymore. SAS has a couple styles that she can wear. So, for an early Mother's Day gift, my husband and I took off the afternoon and drove to the outlet mall. While there, I tried on the SAS walking shoes - and liked them! Will wait a while to buy another pair of shoes - but will give these a whirl when the time is right.

At the checkout, there was this interesting little walking journal pamphlet that I snagged for free. I've been looking at different journals to see if I can design one that will be both practical and inspirational - and cheap or free. This one has some good ideas in it. It is entitled "Walking Sense Serious Walking Information" by the SAS Shoemakers - or by Eric Neveride, the self-appointed Mayor, Philosopher and Critic of Siesta Valley - wherever that is. Turns out that one of the SAS factories is in Conway, Arkansas, about 20 miles from where my mom grew up.

A couple of the little things in this book that I enjoyed I'll share with you here - a shameless rip-off of SAS - but an endorsement, too.

1. Exercise - Intentional and Unintentional (more on this soon);
2. Cars are noisy and dangerous so you should walk everywhere;
3. Roads are paved paths (well, yeah.....);
4. Eat less processed food (makes you walk better???);
5. Jot down things about your walk (hmmm. This idea might have merit.).

So, stay tuned for some updates on these ideas.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Monday, May 4, 2009

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS??


Yes! Better Homes & Gardens Magazine has created a great website for walkers. Whether you're a beginner or a long-time walker, this site has some goodies for you. One thing I particularly like for beginners is their video about how to deal with potential pain. They have a nice list of easy things to do that actually work!

The site is attractive and packed with good information. Another feature I like is that they have a way for you to enter your regular walks so you can easily find how far you've walked over any given period of time.

So, visit the site and see if you'll find it of value to you. I do! Here's a link to the site:
http://walk.bhg.com/?ordersrc=rdbhg0475

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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

PRACTICAL WALKING

Sadly, it's really not practical for me to walk to the work, grocery store, or other errands. St. Louis is comprised of a fairly small urban area surrounded by huge suburbs and what has come to be called exurbia. We have very little mass transit and our streets are not bike-friendly.

My office is a 7 minute drive from my home. You'd think I could walk or, at the very least, take a bus to work. Despite the fact that there is a 4-lane divided 'highway' that leads almost from my front door to the door of my office, there's no bus that runs on that route! And, because it's built like an interstate with a few traffic signals, one can't walk on it or ride a bike.

To make matters worse, the other routes to my office are truly two-lane country roads on which it is hazardous to walk or bike. I'm not brave enough to queue up with cars, trucks, and school buses on these black-top roads. They also take circuitous routes to my office, thus increasing the 'commute' by as much as 100%.

Crazy, isn't it.

There are a couple grocery stores within walking distance - IF i can cross an interstate or walk up The Hill (see my previous post about The Hill) carrying groceries. It can be done but I'm really not inclined. I can even walk to a library - but, again, there's that highway to cross. Quite a hazard. Not for me.

So, where can you walk? Can you walk to work? How about the grocery store? Your other errands? I'm envious of those who have mass transit for these chores. I'd much prefer the commute if I didn't have to drive.


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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WALK ON

Despite the often rainy weather, I have been walking almost every day. As I've written about here, Spring has definitely sprung in the St. Louis area. This is the year of the redbuds and dogwoods - both of which are lasting longer than usual because they haven't lost their beautiful flowers to heavy rains and winds that we usually have in the Spring.

Today, even tho' the weather is fair, I ended up mall-walking. Why? Because that's the only good location where a certain friend and I can meet. I'd much prefer to walk outside, but geography doesn't always work out that way. I cherish the times I can walk with good friends, so I make that trade-off - mall rather than trail - to get to walk and talk with a buddy.

I've gotten my longtime friend Betsey back to walking. She's a real outdoorsy type so walking with me is an easy job for her. She breaks and trains thoroughbred horses, raises dogs, and tends to a 5 acre homeplace in addition to having a job outside the home. Whew! Makes my life look like a breeze -and I'm ALWAYS busy.

Usually, Betsey and I walk with another friend. But, that friend is walking in Peru as I write - trudging up the path to Machu Pichu! She's in very good physical shape and she and her husband, also very fit, often have the opportunity to take trips where they hike and climb. If it weren't for our frequent walks, she'd definitely not be in as good shape for her treks ;-). At least, I'd like to take credit for some of that. LOL. She's one of the reasons I got interested in walking 10+ years ago, so I really can't take credit.




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Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.