There is no question but that I am a huge advocate of walking. It is a source of great happiness on every level. Say you get upset at work or at home, rather than run to the medicine cabinet for a Xanax or the liquor cabinet for a double shot, get up and go for a brisk walk and in a few minutes you will be stress free and feeling great. And unlike those other options walking actually helps to improve your overall health rather than place even more strain on it.
But not everyone is the same. Some folks are grossly overweight and almost totally sedentary. At the other end of the spectrum we will find Olympic runners. Of course it is somewhere in between these two extremes where most of us live. So I am going to start with a person who is probably obese and mostly sedentary but otherwise in okay health. From that point of beginning everyone can pick up along the path.
Step one is a true, real serious commitment to get moving. To make that commitment real you need to begin by defining known distance and time. The easiest place for known distance is a high school or college track if available. Allowing for minor variances between the inner and outer lanes four trips around the track equals one mile. So begin at the track and walk as many circuits as you comfortably can.
Keep track of your time. Most smart phones have timing apps built in or easily downloadable. Or simply use a good old fashion stopwatch. Walk as briskly as you can and note the time.
So let’s say on day one you can only comfortably make it around the track twice and it took you ten minutes to do it. That is one half of a mile at a pace of three miles per hour which, while not Olympic, is nevertheless a decent pace. In any event more or less what you have just done is establish your benchmark. You walked a half-mile in ten minutes, at a pace of one mile every twenty minutes or three miles per hour. Now you can begin to build on that and improve your numbers.
So next you set goals for improvement. Perhaps on your next visit you demand of yourself three laps rather than just two. You can do it and keep track of the time. Do that three days each week. After one week bump up the distance yet again and see if you can accelerate your pace a little. You may want to add some jogging or running to boost the pace but that is entirely discretionary.
Over time you will find your peak performance envelope and you will have in the process significantly improved your overall health. Along the way you will discover just how powerful walking is in relieving stress and dramatically boosting your overall good feeling. It is way better than drugs and alcohol in every imaginable way and it’s also free.
Oh and in case you don’t have easy access to a track you can do all of this in many ways. Just establish that known distance. Let’s say you live in a very rural area far from any school or track, that’s fine. Just fire up your car and pick your start point. Set your trip odometer to zero and drive until it shows one mile. Bam! Your known distance is now established.
With that done you may now do everything mentioned above including measuring your increase in total distance walked and pace. You will achieve all of the same benefits and never have to see a track. That exact same option also exists in an urban environment. Just know your route and establish a known distance, then keep track of your pace and total distance walked.
Now that you are on your way to vastly superior overall health I am about to invite you on the walk of a lifetime. I want you to join me on some or all of a true mega walk the details of which shall be revealed in my next article so keep on reading, that is after taking that walk.
Yes indeed walk for health and also for joy and then share your walking experience to inspire others. Please write and email your favorite walking experience to me at: email@example.com. Where did you walk, what did you see, how long was your walk and anything else you want to reveal. Please include a few photos with your email. Submissions will be accepted now though November 10, 2016 and the winner will receive a free copy of Lose Live the ultimate guide to good health and weight loss. Your story will also appear in this publication. Together we can feel great and begin to win the war on obesity and ill health.
You can, at any time, get your very own copy of my true and real guide to effective and permanent weight loss, Lose Live available at lulu.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Just be sure to keep checking in right here for regular updates. And if you have a question or comment for me please send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 Ron Irwin
Top photo: Thanksgiving turkey (Tim Forkes)
Photos by Ron Irwin
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.