How Not To Be A Slug – or, The Perfect Low Impact Exercise
I’ve been feeling like a couch potato SLUG lately. The weather has been nice and I’ve been wanting to go out into it. My knees have been screaming at me for sitting too much and I’ve been thinking about getting some exercise on a regular basis.
I am NOT one to go to a gym. Been there, done that when I was younger, and at my age right now it’s not for me. My oldest daughter LOVES going to her gym where they have a program for Elders (my daughter is an Elder??!!) but there’s no gym close by where I live, so that’s not a practical possibility. What I want is something that’s not going to make my joints yell at me yet give me a good workout. In other words, the perfect low-impact exercise.
Duh!, you might be saying. Walking, of course.
Everybody knows that walking is the perfect low impact exercise. Common knowledge. So what’s the big deal?
No big deal. Well, maybe a little big deal. The big deal is that we don’t need any special equipment. The big deal is that it’s easy. We can hardly do it wrong. The big deal is — just do it. Ah. That’s the kicker.
There’s a bunch of ways to do this. Several of my friends use step trackers on their cell phones to track their steps. Most have been amazed at the number of steps they take in the course of their day. A few have been amazed at the number of steps they DON’T take in the course of their day.
My excuse for not getting an app on my phone was that I don’t carry my phone around with me everywhere I go. It’s usually sitting on my desk next to my keyboard. So how could I use a step tracking app when my phone just sits there?
I have completely changed my ways. Yesterday I was trapped in my basement for four+ hours and had no way to call for help. Because my phone was sitting nicely on my desk. I’ll tell you about it in my next Tuesday newsletter, but when I was finally rescued I PROMISED that I wouldn’t go anywhere –A.N.Y.W.H.E.R.E. without my cell phone. So this morning I put a step tracker app on my phone and my phone in my pocket. So far so good and I’m a long way from my goal of 5000 steps.
In the free library today on the blog I’ve put some neat printables so you – and I – can keep track of our progress. And also a printable if you want to get serious and take part in a challenge. Here’s the link to get them.
So is this going to take a lot of time? It had better not, because time is the thing I have to budget most carefully, right along with my money. I bet you do too.
So the fact that I don’t need any fancy shoes or special equipment is a plus. Like I said, the perfect low impact exercise.
All we – you and I – need to do is open the door and walk on out. Fifteen minutes should do it. If, like me, you’re feeling like a slug and definitely not in the best of shape then just take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Don’t push yourself to start. For me, I can walk the half block to the post office and get my mail. It’s a downhill walk to get there, and a slight uphill walk coming back. I’m usually a little out of breath by the time I get home. My goal is to walk to the post office and back without getting out of breath.
So what if it’s raining? Do we get a pass?
We get creative.
One thing we can do is walk in place during commercial breaks when we’re watching TV. Just step on out until the show comes on again. Or, if you’re binge watching your favorite whatever on Netflix then walk in place for x minutes until the next episode begins.
If you live in town and near a mall, go walk around the mall.
If you have an ancient Wii, use that.
If nothing else, walk around your house for x minutes. We don’t have to do fifteen minutes of walking in fifteen solid minutes either. We can space them out – five here, five there, and pretty soon we have our fifteen minutes. Or whatever number of minutes or steps we’ve set for ourselves.
If you’re walking outside I’ve found it really helps to have a walking buddy. Sometimes that buddy is a dog, but a human buddy really works best. Either one will get you going when you want to just stay in and play one more game of “Word Play” on your iPad/tablet, but a human buddy gives you someone to talk to.
Or you can listen to podcasts if you don’t have a real human to walk with. Or live stream a Great Courses course and learn something interesting at the same time. Lots of possibilities. My goal is to just do it. Just get those steps in every day. That’s why I’m going to use those printables that I put in the library. Having something in writing that I can see every day is helpful to me. It makes the whole thing more solid somehow.
So here are five reasons why we should go for a walk:
- Walking gets us outside and into the fresh air. And sunshine, if we have some.
This will lift our spirits and help oxygenate our bodies. And give us a dose of vitamin D.
- Walking helps us Lose/Maintain Weight
This I true especially if we can walk at a quick pace.
- Walking improves balance and coordination.
This is especially true if we are walking on uneven ground, like in a park. If not, then we can move our heads right and left for a count of thirty, then up and down for a count of thirty. Think anyone will notice? So what if they do?
- Walking Strengthens Bones and Muscles
That’s a no brainer
- Walking will lift our mood and fight depression and the Blahs
Exercise releases endorphins which makes us feel happier.
So there we are – the no brainer, low impact, good for us, fun and easy way to a happier and healthier us. Just take a walk!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I truly appreciate your loyalty. I’m one third of the way towards my subscribers goal, and my sincerest thanks for helping me towards it. I hope you find these posts and the free library helpful.
Love and Blessings,