Walking is the new black! At least for me, an ex-aerobics, ex-gym, ex-bicycling, ex-jogging type of person. Why?
In my fifties now and I tried to return to the gym and all its machines – just wasn’t my thing any longer.
Have a top bike in the garage – an Avanti – it’s like gliding through honey, it’s such a smooth ride. But doesn’t grab me so much these days.
Aerobics? – too loud, too energetic, I’m too uncoordinated – truly, I love to dance but follow a routine and I’m all left feet. (Having said that, I truly hope that if ever I meet Mr Right then he will LOVE to waltz me round the floor – maybe some dirty dancing too?)
And jogging just doesn’t compute with my limbs anymore, nor these middle-aged spreads!
So that leaves WALKING and these are the reasons:
Walking is low-cost – a water bottle (I use a camel-bak) and a pair of suitable shoes (I had whizzo boots for long-distance walking but a pair of trainers are OK up to 10 ks per walk, I’m finding). Sunnies and a broad-brimmed hat. Et voila!
It’s gentle – our bodies, no matter how old/aged/mature (put your own word in), our bodies were designed to MOVE. And move for long periods. We can pick the pace. There is no competition – just the achievement of getting into a rhythmic walk.
How do I know this? I’ve just walked around 850 kilometres at a rate of approx. 20 kilometres a day (with 6 rest days thrown in) over a period of 7 weeks.
And I wasn’t the oldest person doing the very same thing. There was someone 30 years older than me doing exactly what I was doing!
It’s great for weight-loss. I lost around 8 kilograms.
It’s great for fine-tuning and strengthening muscles. My arrhythmic heart sorted itself out whilst I was walking so consistently. It seems to have settled even now as I walk here at home but half the distance. My muscle definition is to die for (my legs and bum are HOT! – well, in my opinion 😀 ).
It’s very flexible. You can pick your route, change it, add to it, shorten it – the only thing weather-wise that might affect your walk is if you don’t like the rain. (Something I discovered over in Spain – but once you’re out in it, rain doesn’t really matter).
No matter our level of fitness or size, we can all start to move!
Getting older does NOT have to mean we gradually get slower and move less and become chair-bound! Not if that octogenarian has anything to say!
I want to be a strong older person! I don’t want to be younger, let me completely disabuse you of that idea. I like ageing. But not the stereotype that we are fed – or see – that of an older person who doesn’t consider their bodies to be the work-horse it actually is, was designed to be. We don’t have to become fragile or brittle or diseased – there is choice.
This post is not meant to criticise anyone for anything. Your decisions about your own body are entirely yours and none of my business. I just learnt amazing things about what our ageing bodies are capable of when I did that walk in Spain, being a pilgrim on the Camino and am sharing my enthusiasm.
We can start today by walking one errand instead of driving, or walking the dog, or just going for a walk – window shopping?
It’s the new black, I’m sure of that!