05 Nov Walk It Off
Here’s one that is easy to talk about, everybody agrees on, and yet so many people find reasons (aka excuses) not to do. Read the title and you’ll guess it – the benefits of a good walking routine. I see people with mental, emotional, relational, or situational issues. Topics range across the board. A regular day could go something like this. An anxiety disorder, a marriage that is struggling, worries about parenting, stress at work, (have lunch), a mild but chronic depression, dealing with elderly parents, a family in a major transition, and coming to grips with diabetes. As a generalist, there is no predicting what the next new patient will bring to the therapy room.
So, about the walking thing. It is very likely that of the eight sessions I mentioned above, 6 or 7 of them will include me suggesting the person take up some regular walking as exercise. The only reasons I might not would be that they already are exercising regularly or there is some sort of real limitation to being able to do so. Short of these things, it is almost a guarantee that I suggest walking as a means of treating and coping with all these ailments/issues at some point in the course of therapy.
This is what a publication from the Mayo Clinic says walking can do for you:
…….regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
You might ask, “Well Mister Smarty Pants, you are pretty good at preaching but what about your walking routine?” Well, thanks for asking! My wife, Kimberly, and I have two big dogs and we live in the suburbs. To be decent pet owners, it would be bad not to walk them. Therefore, we have a regular 2 mile walk every or most every day, thank you very much. In addition, if you walk with my dogs and my wife, there is no strolling along. They like to move! For me, for you, and for most everyone two miles of walking at a decent pace is a very good start.
As I said at the beginning, this is no news to any person reading this blog. I cannot, however, emphasize enough just how real it is. It is much more than just a good idea. A habit of healthy walking can be the thing that actually changes or even saves your life. Think that sounds dramatic? It is dramatic but also true!