The Healthy Well

Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Refreshment: Grab a Cup

Archive for November, 2010

Walking-Good for What Ails You

Living down south isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.  There is heat, humidity, and lots of bugs.   Summers last forever down here.  Whenever the leaves are dripping their color over the north Georgia mountains, we’re still batting at gnats and mosquitoes.  Alas, fall just might be popping its head.  Cool temperatures partnered with an overcast sky and a slight breeze from the east is long awaited.  It’s just right for a walk.

The minute I grab for my tennis shoes, Sadie’s tail begins wagging.  She barks with excitement as we head out the door in brisk pace down the road towards the marsh.  Ahead, I can see a slight haze hovering above the water as if it’s not sure whether to come or go.  The air is cool.  Along the way, I let Sadie off the lead to get her sniffing done.   As we finish the circle and get closer to home, a slight breeze from the east beckons me to go one more time.

On that final lap, I become more aware of my legs and my lungs.   A simple exercise such as walking is more beneficial than we realize.  It actually works to increase circulation. With each step, our calf muscles actually work against gravity by pumping the blood back up to the heart. Do you know exactly how our lungs benefit? By taking in deep breaths, our lungs remain elastic.  I’m sure you are familiar with the fact that elderly people have very shallow breathing. Over time, good air in and bad air out becomes detrimental to our health.  We all know what the lack of oxygen does to our brain.

I don’t know about you, but I have to constantly remind myself of the consequences I face if I don’t take good care of myself.  Too often, we tell ourselves there’s more time and we can do it tomorrow.  Sadly, tomorrow never comes for a lot of people.