Chubb's Walk

Happy Healthy Pets

Category: Fitness/Health

I’m Back (Again)

During a busy year and a half, I am afraid that i have neglected this blog and my writing in general, but that is a mistake that I am ready to remedy.  I plan to re-dedicate myself to making this into an informative and entertaining spot to find helpful information and interesting exploration into environmentally responsible and healthy lifestyle, and methods for weaning ourselves from some of the self-induced stress that fills our lives.

As I prepared to begin writing for this blog once again I was at first a little worried to see that there is a movie coming out starring Robert Redford, called “A Walk In The Woods.”  I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction of, “Hey, I had it first.”

Then I realized, this could be the greatest thing to happen to my blog.  I could be seeing all sorts of accidental visitors.  Maybe some of them will check out my blog, and I could see some new readers as a result.

I think that I will have to see the movie.  I will let you know how it is.

I Think; I’ll Walk

I like to walk every morning.  I have written often of the physical benefits derived from walking.  These gains comprise a list too long to cover in a single article or blog post, and I intend to cover some of the individual advantages in upcoming posts, but today I would speak to the emotional and cerebral rewards gained through time spent in motion.

I have been in North Carolina for the past four months spending time with my son and three grandchildren.  I have cherished this time with them but find that my opportunities for the long walk through nature, an integral part of my writing process, are severely impeded.  There are places to walk here, but as a lifelong resident of Oregon I have found the heat and humidity here to be daunting in my attempts to walk regularly.  My schedule does not allow for the early morning walks that might preclude the oppressive heat, and the evenings are only now, near the end of my stay, cooling enough to allow the occasional evening walk.

Walk

Walk to relieve stress and let your mind soar.

In Oregon I would walk every morning with my best friend, a lab mix named Chubby, in preparation for the writing day.  During this time I could lose myself in the natural settings while praying, meditating, and working through the thoughts and ideas for the writing that would follow.  This mobile quiet time invariably leads to several lines of thought from which I could find a starting point for the day’s work.  My production is limited only by the time that I allowed myself to write.

Here at Fort Bragg, with my schedule with the children precluding these early morning brainstorming sessions, I have found that the writing comes much harder and I am more willing to turn to all of the other chores and pursuits that pull at me rather than struggling through the painful process of dragging subjects from a mind not primed through ambling inspiration.

I find myself dreaming of the time that I can once again stroll through the towering Douglas firs and along wild streams in the chill of a Northwest dawn.

Walk; Relieve stress

A morning walk serves to set the mood for the rest of the day.  No matter what tasks await you, an early morning hike can make you more productive throughout the day.

A walk can remove the stress felt for the job ahead.  If you have left over anger or depression from the previous day it soothes your frayed nerves and resets your emotional equilibrium.  It eases depression and anxiety.  It stimulates your problem-solving capability.  It can move you closer to your true purpose, re-focusing your vision of the future.  You are more inclined to accept your shortcomings and of those whom you encounter.

The morning walk is not the only way to benefit mentally.  A walk in the evening is a wonderful way to release the stress and frustrations of a difficult day, renewing your spirit and preparing you for a restful sleep and preparing you to meet a new day with enhanced vigor.   A peaceful night can free your subconscious mind to problem-solve and present you with solutions upon awakening.

Walking is the easiest, most natural method that you will encounter for controlling the stress endemic in our busy lives.  No matter what the approaching day entails, walking with your thoughts will clarify and simplify the solutions that you seek.

The physical health promoted by daily hikes will serve to enhance your mental acuity as well.  A healthy body promotes a healthy mind, and, as previously mentioned, the physical benefits from walking are copious.

Get out and walk daily.  It is the cheapest and most effective therapy that you can find.

To find some good nature walks to boost your creativity and reduce your stress try the link below:

http://alltrails.com/

Walk From Fat to Fitness

We hear a lot about how fat American’s have become.  We are an obese nation, sitting on our butts and gorging on fast food and deep fry.  Big Macs and Pizza and beer and seventy inch big screen TV’s have rendered us inactive blobs of flesh sitting and waiting for heart attacks and strokes.

For a while we played with the fitness craze, buying lifetime memberships at trendy gyms re-branded as health clubs, but no matter how many fancy weight machines or incarnations of the exercise bike that they placed beside hot tubs and saunas, they could hold our interest for only so long.  The workouts still required work and the health foods that they promoted still tasted like cardboard and sawdust.  As soon as the “lifetime memberships” fled with the fitness club’s name changes we flew back to our couches and our reruns, seldom to return.

As a result, we set aside those fanciful dreams of six-pack abs and Hulk Hogan biceps, the hour-glass figures and rock hard butts and tuned in to a growing slate of (un)reality shows that let us know that we were not more flawed than our neighbors and in fact may hold the higher moral ground.  For the next twenty years we remained glued to our cable enabled TVs and thus to our ever more plush couches.  Potatoes we became.

Now we find ourselves, decades later, silvered and rounded.  Not well, just rounded.  Well rounded would be us had we stayed in the gym.  Here we sit still, heart attacks and strokes in waiting disguised as baby boomers, finding now that we must continue to drag our decrepit bodies to diminishing jobs for diminishing pay for longer than expected in an attempt to replace our diminished retirement funds and savings we had counted on for our final years of corpulent comfort.

I don’t mean to be a complete purveyor of doom and gloom for our generation, however.  I bring with this bleak picture a caveat; a message of renewal, of reversal and regeneration.

We can walk our way out of this predicament.

Seriously.

Health concerns at the age of 49 facilitated a heightened interest in creating a healthier lifestyle for me and my loved ones, including dietary changes and research into the value of exercise.  I had fallen into a routine devoid of any organized workouts and so the changes needed were dependent upon finding a way to make my path to better health one that would allow me to ease my way back to fitness.  Jumping into a rigorous regimen of exercises, I knew from past attempts, would doom my efforts to failure.  I needed a way to saunter back into health, relatively painless, with a strong upside, but not daunting enough to deter a chronic couch potato like myself.

Walking was the ideal start.

Most of us can walk.  In fact, after years of experience we can all claim a certain amount of expertise in this common but amazingly beneficial activity.  This makes it an excellent place to begin a path to fitness and health.  Barring major disability, walking for health will merely mean increasing an activity that everyone participates in on a daily basis.  The benefits are not only surprising to most, but are in fact astounding.

Following is a list of the most universal gains that an increase in your steps per week will provide.  In coming posts I will explore the various studies and personal experience that lend credence to these claims.

I make no exaggeration when I say that walking is the ultimate “get rich quick scheme” for improved health that you will find that is not a scam.

Immediate benefits include:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced Cholesterol
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • reduced risk of cancer and return of certain cancers
  • Prevention and control of type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthening of the heart
  • Memory improvement/better cognitive function
  • Lower risk of dementia
  • Alleviates depression (as much as 47%)
  • Weight loss/maintenance
  • Improved fitness/build muscle strength
  • Better endurance
  • Increases circulation, boosting oxygen delivery throughout the body which slows the aging process
  • Disability prevention in the elderly
  • Increase of motivation and  self-satisfaction
  • Helps you sleep better which studies show help you to live longer
  • Increases ability to relax
  • Reduces reliance on medications
  • Improved sexual satisfaction
  • Increased vitamin D production when walking in sunshine, which lowers cancer rates, risk of death, and risk of osteoporosis in people over 50.

The list of benefits goes on and on, and all of this from an activity that we have been doing for nearly all our lives.  You gain all of these benefits by simply increasing your speed and the number of steps that you take.  I can personally attest to the effectiveness of including a brisk walk in your routine.  Many of the benefits on this list have been measurably effective in my quest to delay and even reverse some of the ravages of father time.

walking for fitness

Walk your way to fitness and health.

For your own sake, for your satisfaction of life, for the sake of those who love you, give it a try.  Find a nice route and start walking.  Push your pace and increase your steps.  Let’s show those that are calling our generation the black hole of healthcare that we can walk with pride into a bright and healthy future.

Here are some good resources for more information on how and where to go walking.

http://www.50plus-fitness-walking.com/walking-style.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/page3.htm

http://alltrails.com/

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