Could YOU Walk a 5k Today?

Funky, Cool Fish Statue, Skopje, Macedonia,
Located near the center and along my walking path
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
Could YOU walk a 5k TODAY?

Yes, you could!

Just for today, decide to walk a 5k. Don't worry about tomorrow, for you should decide what you do tomorrow, tomorrow.

No matter where you are right now or how old you are, if you have legs and are able to walk at all, you can walk a 5k (3.1 miles) today.

HOW you do it does not matter; you can break up your 5k in small increments, even 10-15 minute sessions throughout the day: at work, at the grocery store, and at home.

You don't need any special equipment, just a pair of comfortable shoes and a bottle of water (to keep yourself hydrated). You don't need to walk fast; you just need to move.

In fact, for the long haul, slow as she goes is more sustainable.

Our bodies were built for walking, and when we don't do it regularly, we become logy and out of sorts, our muscles become stiff, and we gain weight.

If you are just starting out with walking as exercise, don't overdo it, especially if you are obese and haven't been active recently. In that case, get a checkup and clearance from your doctor. If you generally use those electric chairs provided by some grocery stores, try to do at least part of your shopping on your feet, but, again, don't overdo it.

If you have exercise pain, then there is no gain because you are less likely to repeat it. Exercise should be invigorating, not a painful chore.

Start where you are now, one foot in front of the other; before you know it, your legs will be well-muscled and sinewy and your lungs strong. You don't even have to be slender to enjoy these benefits.

I do have a treadmill, which I use daily, but I enjoy walking outside the most, especially when there is somewhere to go. In my York neighborhood, Jerry and I are beginning to meet and greet the same people along our path. When I lived in Skopje, Macedonia, I would often walk to and from the center, where all the action took place. I never knew who or what event I would encounter.

Sometimes, I would walk to Deko, a jewelry crafts and minerals shop located near the Greek Embassy, to visit Dean (pronounced DAY-ON) Skartov, pictured above (middle) in this March 2010 photograph. Jerry is on the left, and I'm on the right (wearing an opal necklace that Dean created for me).

My point: try to find walking routes that give you joy beyond the simple pleasure of walking; build in a small non-food reward for yourself (a visit, window shopping, buying a small trinket. I like collecting rocks from the sidewalk.).

Also, create opportunities for more walking by parking your car further away from your destination and using the stairs instead of the elevator. Over time, these activities add up. About stairs: if you go too fast, you may become winded, so easy does it. I can now take two flights without being winded, but the subsequent flights are more challenging.

When doing chores, build in a little extra exercise. When I prepare my breakfast, I don't worry about "wasting" time bending and creating some extra steps (e.g., I clean and put things away as I go).

Right now, because of my treadmill injury (diagnosed as a compression fracture of the L-1 vertebrae), I'm at a lower level than I was a week ago, which is okay. At least I'm on my feet, which is important.

I'm more than willing to work my way back up because I absolutely love the way I feel when my body is limber and strong.

What is your favorite exercise?

Comment below.


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