Walking for Health is recognised as being very beneficial. It has been described as the perfect exercise. It benefits our bodies and our minds. It helps reduce diabetes and heart disease and the benefits for the mind are well documented
Walking for Health
If you have read any of my earlier posts you will have read that I suffer from joint pain and osteoarthritis. After a nursing career spanning 38 years a lot of this is due to wear and tear after being on my feet for most of that time.
After an injury last year I had need to undergo an MRI and consult with an orthopaedic surgeon. He advised me that I was not to perform any exercise involving impact e.g. running on the treadmill or Zumba (which I loved). He recommended as much walking for health as possible, this echoes earlier advice I had received after being diagnosed with a chronic back condition, facet joint syndrome.
I try to walk as much as possible and since retiring I use public transport more and walk to destinations. This though is not as frequent as I would like in the winter months. Mr Fitz and I used to walk as a hobby but its an activity that we got out of the habit of doing.
Last Sunday Mr Fitz decided we should try a walk that was accessible for our hose and had been recommended to him. We didn’t use a map or any prior research just followed the verbal directions given to him by his colleague.
As the weather has been really pleasant we thought we would enjoy the February sunshine. I do have a pedometer but on this occasion I used the Map My Walk app on my phone to monitor progress and distance. Walking for Health was one of my New Year goals and I was happy to get out.
The walk ended up as being over 8 km in distance, with a stop for refreshments. The app can be paused when you take a stop and restarted. I however forgot to restart for the final part of the journey so I did not manage to track the full total. I am aware that I ma so out of condition compared to my younger days and that Mr Fitz is far fitter than I. But I am made of strong stuff and even though I am ‘out of puff’ on inclines I will not be beaten. The sights and smell of fresh air are so exhilarating, not least the fabulous dogs to be seen and patted on route. We passed along the banks of the nearby canal and the sun was dappling the water, boats moored there were colourful and the geese were noisy!
Fabulous sights and sounds to lift the mood and bring a smile. We have vowed to take this route and others more regularly.
Post walk pain
As the walk progressed I could feel my joints creaking and I developed a blister under my foot, I underestimated the length of the walk chose the wrong footwear! We rewarded ourselves with a beer on the way home, I chose a half pint of Guinness with blackcurrant. Heaven and well deserved. I slept better than I had for a long time, I’m usually woken several times a night due to menopausal hot flushes. The next morning I had stiffness and pain in joints and muscles and was hobbling and struggling to straighten up! I know others give in to these symptoms and stop exercising due to this. I really would encourage anyone else who does feel like this to continue, after a soak in the bath with muscle relaxing bath product and some analgesia and anti inflammatory’s I was much improved.
To me the other after effects such as the increased endorphins, improved sleep and the chance to spend quality time with Mr Fitz outside in the fresh air far outweighs the pain. I suffer pain and discomfort anyway, even after a day spent sat at my computer. I strongly encourage everyone to get outdoors and walk.
Do you have a love of walking, maybe a favourite walking routine you’d like to share with me. I love hearing from you and reading your comments.