Monday, October 10, 2011


I read a couple articles recently that reinforce how good walking is for us.

First was a study of exercise, especially walking, in patients with osteoarthritis and obesity. Obesity is defined in different ways by different people, but we all know who we are. We're not talking about those people who continue to struggle to lose that 'last 5 pounds'. Typically, an obese person is defined as anyone who is 20 or more pounds above his/her ideal weight. That's most of us, especially if we suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the 'wear and tear' variety without the positive Rheumatoid Factor. We're fortunate to not suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Wear and tear arthritis is what most people over the age of 40 suffer from. For those people, men and women, moderate exercise actually lessens joint pain!

Have you been reading my blog for a while? If you have, you already know my stance on this. Yep! It hasn't changed. Walking will make you feel better - in every case, all the time, no matter what your diagnosis is. Now, we have more scientific proof that this is true. So there! Keep walking - or START walking if you haven't been. Start slow, go steady, increase as you can.

The second article discussed the role of exercise in increasing wellness. Duh! Read the above paragraphs and get moving!

No, really. This is not to dismiss those with serious medical conditions, people in wheelchairs, those so debilitated by physical or mental conditions that they are unable to walk. Those people will improve their physical and mental wellbeing by other forms of physical exercise - chair aerobics, swimming, passive physical therapy, or other activities prescribed by their medical professionals.

For the rest of us, when we're not feeling 100%, when we have a 'blue' day, when we know what we have and that it's not likely to improve over time (like arthritis, for instance), walking and other forms of non- or low-impact exercise will improve things. Every time, all the time, in every case. Check my guarantee below. Remember, it's gonna hurt anyway, right? So, ignore the immediate pain (or take Tylenol or whatever pain meds are prescribed for you) and get your walk on!

Case in point: I've been suffering from migrating facial pain. Sinuses? Dental infection? Migraine? I've had the teeth checked out. No infection, cavities, or other dental issues. That leaves sinuses and migraines - unless we want to think about scarier things. Since I've suffered from migraines since age 9, it's the opinion of two physicians and one dentist that this is likely a migraine variant. There are medications for this sort of thing - and I've taken them in the past for more debilitating episodes. I'd like to avoid that now.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that I hadn't had my usual amount of liquids at work. My face hurt. So, when I got home from work, I chugged 16 ounces of water, put on my walking shoes, and hit the trail. Not a magic bullet - but my pain lessened greatly and I was able to continue with my normal activities without taking migraine meds. Remember - its' gonna hurt anyway. Today, pretty much the same. I'm taking care of myself in the way that works best for me.

I'll see how long this condition continues and how I tolerate the pain. So far, I'm treating myself with Tylenol, water, and walking and getting by.

Note: A headache is the FIRST sign of dehydration. While I'm not a physician and can't (and won't) offer medical advice, I strongly suggest that, if you have a headache, increase your fluid intake (with water or another uncaffeinated beverage) before you reach for another treatment.

***************************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. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

No comments: