• Denise Lazenby

What a wonderful day for a walk…

It’s the simple thing you can do for yourself which empowers and energises your mind.

Some people are the up and ‘em types. As soon as they wake, they’re out of bed than ready to face the day with a swim, run, bike ride or a walk, and good on them.

I have to confess, I’m not the sporty type, so for me, the thought of exercising isn’t really appealing. My joints ache, it’s cold, it’s hot, it’s raining, there’s a ‘y’ in the day of the week, I’m tired, I didn’t sleep well, I don’t have time…I have a million excuses just sitting there waiting to be used.

Even so, the truth is I know that IF I can get my sneakers on AND get out of the door, I will feel better. So today I decided to park the why nots and focus on the benefit of what my dear old Grandmother would have called “fresh air and exercise”.

Good reasons for getting outside today

Energy levels and mood govern how we interact with the world. Studies have found that walking gives you more lasting energy than afternoon naps or those dreadful ‘high energy’ snack or drinks which just spike your blood sugar.

I find once I’ve got as far as the park, it’s easy to decide to walk over the bridge and along the river and quite often the 10 minute walk I planned turns into 30 or 40 minutes, the dog loves me even more (if that’s possible) and I feel have a sense of achievement and more energised.

The good things in life are free - taking yourself off for a walk only costs your time. There are no memberships or fees associated with a walk around the block, you may even bump into someone interesting. In Perth we are blessed with an accessible and beautiful natural environment, and we’re never too far from a park, the river or the beach. If you have a bit of time to spare, why not take a book, the Sunday paper, a coffee or even a little picnic breakfast. The 15 minute walk to the park and 15 minutes back easily achieves that 30 minutes of exercise a day goal.

Health – studies show the risks of cancer, heart and diabetes are significantly reduced by as little as 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise gets your heart pumping increasing the oxygen supply in your blood and improves your circulation. Forget about all the pills and supplements - fresh healthy food, enough sleep and regular exercise is the most effective way of looking after ourselves.

Well being – sunshine increases your vitamin D levels which has a significant impact on depression and anxiety. Walking for 30 minutes in the great outdoors gives you space to breath and time to process thoughts or issues that might be weighing you down. Stopping half way and just sitting quietly or meditating is good for the soul.

Because you can… as we mature, the saying “use it or lose it” becomes even more relevant. Muscle strength, stamina, and flexibility can decline pretty quickly and they are the very qualities we need to stay stronger for longer and live a healthy, independent and productive life. Getting out for a walk is a good way to look after yourself today and every day.


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