Thursday, August 29, 2013

Walking Woman by Harriet W Hodgson MA

The Fitness Decision

Fitness isn’t a sometime decision; it is a lifetime decision. Starting a fitness program is easy, but as time passes, it may become harder. The fast, hectic, noisey pace of modern life makes it difficult to stay on the fitness path. Yet with determination and planning, you can do it. Walk for your health and all the people who care about you. From experience, I can tell you regular walking is energizing and makes you feel better.

Make walking part of your daily routine. If you’re a new mother, you may walk to lose extra tummy weight. If you’re the mother of young children, you may walk to have the stamina to keep up with them. If you’re a grandmother you may walk because you want to see your grandchildren grow and mature. If you’re an experienced grandmother like me, you may walk for better health so you can be at your grandchildren’s college graduations.

If you’re a woman you walk because you’re health-conscious and want to take good care of yourself. That is a worthy goal for all of us and you are worthy of it.

But the fitness path isn’t a perfect path and there will probably be times when you stray. You may not walk for a week or more. At a wedding reception you may “pig out” at the buffet table and feel awful afterwards. Walking may be impossible because you’re at a week-long conference and sitting for hours each day. Circumstances like these aren’t the end of your fitness program. Just as a child gets back on a bike after a fall, you get back to your fitness program. You put on your shoes and walk.

Years ago a Rochester, Minnesota nun made the fitness decision for herself. Franciscan sister Vera Klinkhammer decided to walk daily for health and her story is detailed in a Post-Bulletin article, “Aging Well 101.” Raised on a farm, she was used to regular physical activity and, as a trained nurse, understood the health benefits of it. While she was living at St. Marys Hospital, a Catholic institution and part of Mayo Clinic, the sister walked the hallways each day. She walked and walked and walked. Hospital staff, patients, and visitors were used to seeing her, so used to it that Mayo Clinic wondered how far she walked, and asked her to wear a pedometer for a day.

By the end of the day the sister had walked an astonishing 12 miles! Multiply this distance by the 72 years she lived at the hospital, and she walked nearly half a million miles. Today, at age 101, she is still walking and sharing her advice for longevity, “Just keep going.” She thinks people sit too much, according to the article, and that is one reason why she continues to walk. The article quotes the sister as saying she is grateful for each day, her wonderful life, her good health, her functioning senses, and the ability to take care of herself.

A photo of her walking at Assissi Heights, also part of Mayo Clinic, was published with the newspaper article. I studied the photo carefully. Though she is 101 years old, the sister looks like she is in her mid-50s. Sister Klinkhammer is a living example of the health benefits of a walking program and sticking with it.

Making the fitness decision is easier than living it, for staying active requires ongoing effort and re-commitment. You must make the fitness pledge each day. As the sister’s story shows, daily walking can help to prolong your life. How can you stay active? You may turn to the Internet first. There is lots of information on the Internet, but you have to sort through it, and figure out what is reliable and what is not. This takes time. Before you become a regular website visitor, join an online community, or subscribe to anything, you need to answer 10 questions.

  1. Who pays the bills?
  2. Who manages the website?
  3. What does the “About Us” section say about the business, organization, or person?
  4. Who writes for the website?
  5. Are these authors qualified?
  6. What else have these authors written?
  7. Are the artices evidence-based, purely anecdotal, or just plain false?
  8. Is the information current?
  9. What do reviews say about the website?
  10. Does the website want to help me or just sell me stuff?


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    Genre – Health / Wellness

    Rating – G

    More details about the book

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