After weeks of torrential flooding rain, the damn sun came out today and dried up all my excuses.
That meant, that I finally had to get outside and do “the 20 minute walk”.
Even if you barely know me at all, you’d know that I’m not the sort of person who goes timing their activities without some kind of outside intervention.
Enter the physio.
After two weeks on the “ten minute walk”, I’ve progressed to the “twenty minute walk” and while this should’ve generated that warm glow of achievement, it also pressed the panic button… just a little.
You see, doubling the distance, also meant twice as much opportunity for DISASTER!!
This wasn’t just anxiety speaking either. My tripping and crash-landing abilities are legendary! Indeed, only two weeks ago, yours truly swan-dived right outside the test centre where my daughter was sitting for the illustrious Selective Schools’ Test. Of all the times to have a fall, this came pretty close to being the worst. That said, at least I had loads of help getting back up.
So, this is why I was a bit wary of going for a 20 minute walk all by myself, even if it was a beautiful sunny day and the beach was calling. Our local footpaths are so bumpy, cracked and overgrown that they’ve become ridiculously rustic, death traps. You don’t even need to be accident-prone to fall.
However, being accountable for my exercise and needing to tick the all-important box on my exercise plan, magically propelled me out of the couch and onto the footpath.
First, however, I recruited Mummy’s Little Helper to act as walk buddy. This was not only so she could not only call 000 in the event of emergency, but also so we could also take the dogs for a walk. Miss took Lady, while I took a much stronger Bilbo and off we went….Miss telling Lady to stop sniffing and keep walking. Their pace helped to propel Bilbo along, although Miss did observe him trying to sniff every single tree and post along the way!
That reminded me of a couple of old dog jokes:
What’s the definition of torture?
A dog in a desert with no trees.
What’s the definition of confusion?
A dog in a desert with two trees.
However, Bilbo didn’t have the luxury of any lingering sniffs. That’s because he too was under the physiotherapist’s regime. The goal, or should I say the prescription, was 20 minutes of brisk walking, which is going to boost your heart rate and build a sweat. Obviously, this is not a leisurely stroll smelling the roses…or anything else!
By the way, the idea behind the 20 minute walk is to do a 20 minute walk…no more, no less. It aims to create frequency by surreptitiously sneaking into your daily routine, so you almost don’t realise it’s there. As if!
So what’s motivating my walks:
- Increasingly the number of steps and kilometres on the health app on my phone. I have found this very encouraging and motivating….both when the results are positive and negative. You find out what you’re capable of and when your steps are low for the day, it encourages you to get back out there. Keep moving. Worth noting, though, that you do need to walk around with your phone to get accurate results. If you feel like cheating, you could also attach the phone to the dog, but you’d only be cheating yourself.
- Increased fitness and strength leading to greater endurance.
- Exercise helps prevent chest infections and improves lung health, which is critical for me!
- Exercise & sunshine boosts your endorphins boosting your mood.
- Enjoying the beautiful outdoors and spreading my wings by getting out of the house.
- Running into friends on my walks.
- Possibility of losing weight.
Before I head off, I’d like to exercise my bragging rights. Although I was feeling that a 20 minute walk was going to do me in today, by the time we reached the beach, we felt like talking the dogs down to the off-leash, dog section of the beach. I lost track of how long we walked for but it was probably more like an hour. We ended up walking for 3.5km and reached 5,600 steps. This was a vast improvement on 824 steps on Friday and 2,650 steps on Thursday.
So, I deserve a huge pat on the back and my daughter gets a huge thanks…both from me and the dogs!
I thought you might find my walking progress encouraging and that if you’re having trouble getting started or sticking with it, that you can do it. We can do it. Please keep me posted on your progress.