Sunday, December 02, 2007

Walking (for Sunday Scribblings)


Everyone has heard about the benefits of walking. Studies show it can increase your life span, reduce the risk of a heart attack, and help you lose weight. But with our crazy Houston weather, I truly dislike going outside for a walk. It’s either summer, or it’s winter (according to the Texas definition). There is very little in between. So, there are few days of the year when it is comfortable to walk outside. If it’s not the dreaded heat and 90% humidity creating enough perspiration to soak a sponge, then it’s the mockingbird-sized mosquitoes, and there’s little I dislike more than legs full of itchy bites. If, on the other hand, it is not too hot, a rare occurrence in a place where we usually select our Christmas tree while wearing shorts, then it’s the cold and the wind giving me an earache.

But one thing I don’t mind is walking on a treadmill and working out at the gym. In fact, about two weeks ago, I purchased a membership at the YMCA. I haven’t belonged to the Y for 2 ½ years, ever since I remarried and moved to a new part of town where everything is still not completely familiar. Before I moved, I was in great shape. I’m sure marriage and cooking for a larger family has had a lot to do with getting out of shape, but I am determined to get back into shape. Our local YMCA has state-of-the-art treadmills, weight machines, cross-trainers, and exercise bikes, among other things. The facility is only a few years old, and it is as nice as any Bally’s or 24 Hour Fitness that I have ever seen.

I can get on the treadmill and either listen to music, watch TV on my own machine right in front of me with my headphones, or prop my book on the treadmill (which has built in place holders so I don't even have to hold the book myself), and I can just go! And go and go like the Energizer bunny. No heat, no drenching sweat from the humidity, no mosquitoes. I'm in my own little world, and it bring a sense of peace. The outside world is gone while I'm walking on the treadmill, and it's always the first thing I do when I go to the gym. It's a stress reliever that will also help me get back in shape.

I learned some new things about walking on the treadmill. For example, experts advise you not to hold onto the handrail because it is not a natural walking position. They suggest using your arms to achieve a good stride and good walking posture. Using your arms correctly will also help alleviate neck and shoulder aches from sitting in front of the computer too long (not that any of us are guilty of that! ~wink~ I also learned that I need to keep my back foot on the ground longer to get a push-off into the next step in order to get the best results from my walking.

Who needs a New Year to make a resolution? I’m going to walk myself back into shape! And I've already started!

5 comments:

Rob Kistner said...

I wish you well with your conviction!

tumblewords said...

I'm a treadmiller, too. At least through the winter... Enjoyed your slideshow of beautiful people!

giggles said...

Wish I had your conviction!! Good for you, organizing your house and yourself! Well done!

gautami tripathy said...

I too have started walking with a vengeance!

susan said...

YES! Love will make you fat. lol Well, we got fat together. I've finally taken off most of the weight and I did it walking. I used to walk the treadmill, but then my car broke down and I've been walking and riding the bus. I enjoy it very much. Keep at it. Now that it's cold, I'll be walking on a treadmill again to get through our Michigan winter.

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