“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – or so the saying goes. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/an-apple-a-day.html I’m not so sure about that, but I am very sure about Item #4 on my “post-kindergarten” list of ways to guarantee a healthier, happier, less stressed-out “you” – commit to “taking yourself” out on a brisk 5 mile walk every day! How can I be so sure? I’ve been doing it for at least the past 18 months and the results have been nothing short of amazing.
To me, the benefits of walking are many. It’s afforded me an hour and 15 minutes of quiet time a day – time that I’ve used: to “write” most of my book, a peer-reviewed article for a professional journal and presentations for two upcoming conferences; to gather my thoughts; to reflect (daily) on where I’ve been (and where I’m going); to clear my mind; to pray; to interact with now familiar other walkers (and their pets); or simply to observe and gain insight into the world around me. It’s also provided daily structure, reduced stress, helped me to “exercise” my “self-discipline muscles” and given me a sense of pride that can only come from remaining true to a commitment you’ve made to yourself.
Along the way, I’ve managed to lose 20+ pounds, without any significant modifications in my diet (I still eat bread-products, pasta and french fries like they’re going out of style!?!), shaved 25 points off my cholesterol, reduced my blood pressure to 100/70 and developed a resting heart rate of someone 1/2 my age. Suffice it to say, my doctor is impressed. Most importantly, like Item Nos. 1-3, doing it costs you almost nothing – and you can do it anywhere, 365 days a year. All you need to begin is a comfortable pair of walking/running shoes (I recommend the Nike Air Pegasus) and a scenic 5 mile course mapped out from your front door. It can’t get much easier than that!
Trust me – you’ll love the difference it will make in virtually every aspect of your life.