Walking Into 2020

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photo by Alexas Fotos on Pixabay

This year, 2020, I am challenging myself to walk for at least 20 minutes five times a week.

I came across this idea through a podcast I listen to called Happier with Gretchen Rubin. This podcast contains life hacks, practical ways to manage time, and ideas for living a happier life.

Now, I am not new to walking. In fact, years ago, too many to claim, my doctor told me that I had high cholesterol and I needed to start exercising. He suggested walking. At the time, I had small children, so taking the kids for a walk a few times a week was easy to add to my routine, and they loved the adventure.

Then while the kids were growing up and going through those wild but wonderful teenage years, my reasons for walking changed. My motto became “not for vanity, but for sanity.” My few minutes walking through the neighborhood or meeting up with a friend at the walking track gave me perspective and made me recognize that my need for exercise went beyond the physical to the mental.

Now as a writer, my need to move has increased tenfold. My sedentary job pushes me to keep up my walking in order to maintain good health, but I have also discovered when I exercise my creative juices flow more readily, giving me inspiration and new ideas. Once again, my reasons have gone beyond that of the physical and mental to include the creative.

So, when I heard this podcast, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and accept the Walk 20 in 2020 challenge. I would increase the number of days I walk from three to five and see how the Lord uses this investment of time in my life.

If you have been feeling the nudge to get more active, I would challenge you to join me in my quest for twenty minutes of walking five days a week, and to entice you, I want to leave you with five great reasons to be a walker:

  1. Walking clears your mind and ups your creativity by 60 percent according to a Stanford University study.
  2. It gives you time to pray and think.
  3. It reduces your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke.
  4. It strengthens your bones and muscles.
  5. It improves your mood and leaves you feeling happier.

With all these benefits, you might want to give walking a try and walk into the New Year knowing you’re doing something worthwhile for your mind, body, and spirit.

“But they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (ASV).

Prompt: The bells chimed midnight. Carol couldn’t wait to begin her new project. She loved the clean slate of a whole new year in front of her.

Click-to-Tweet: Five great reasons to be a walker – Bonita McCoy in Walking into 2020 via @InspiredPrompt

The Great Outdoors

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Photo by Christina Rich

Hitting the gym isn’t always a feasible option, especially for busy mothers. Especially for busy mothers who write too. On any given day I can bet working at our upholstery shop until four, hit the romper room where I watch kids until five-thirty, run home to make dinner only to be off to take my daughter to dance class. Some days I leave the house before eight and don’t return until after ten-thirty at night. If all that busyness equaled cardio and pounds lost I’d be very healthy. Unfortunately, I probably burn more calories sleeping.

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Photo by Christina Rich

As much as I love the gym and working up a good muscle burn, I’d rather spend my free time with my family, especially since our lives are so busy. Some of the things we do together are take walks. During the warmer months, I often walk three miles a day. Walking outside gives this ADD brain new things to look at so I don’t get bored staring at the same blue car in the parking lot at the gym. It also provides me with some fresh air and a chance to talk with my walking partner, not to mention the beautiful sunsets God displays for us in the evenings.

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Photo by Christina Rich

Walking isn’t the only activity that can be enjoyed outdoors. My dad is an avid exerciser. He hits the gym several days a week, but he also likes to be outside. When weather permits, he rides his bike anywhere from fifteen to twenty miles a day. He’s a great inspiration and although I don’t aspire to riding a bike that much–I have a love-hate relationship with bikes–I would like to run a 5k. That’s my goal this year. It was my goal last year and the year before. Now that Hubs knows about said goal, I’m certain I’ll be meeting that goal this year.

There are many activities you can do outside besides walking, running, and biking; hiking, rowing, sailing, tennis, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, swimming, gardening. Yes, I said gardening. Did you know you could burn calories doing that? It makes sense. I think you work more muscles pulling weeds from the flower bed than you do performing calisthenics.

There are many more activities that can be done outdoors. If weather conditions don’t bother, just get out there and do it. 😉

Walking for Health

Let me first make this perfectly clear from the start: I hate exercise!
I did enough of it in the Army for a lifetime. I can still remember the way the crisp air smelled at O’Dark Thirty in the morning, and I can live a long time without smelling it again.

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I do know from experience that just eating better is not going to get the job done. I may be able to drop a few pounds cutting bad carbs, sugar and drinking more water, but moving is going to get the results faster. My goal is not just to shed a few pounds, it’s to get back down to a healthy weight for me. Let’s be honest, I know everyone has some issue they struggle with, maybe more than one.

I conquered one struggle with the help of the Lord, and we are forever thankful. My husband and I had tried to quit smoking for years, only to have WW 3 commence under our roof after only a few days. Not a happy site. So, we would start smoking again. The turning point was a desire on both our parts to dedicate our lives back to the Lord. We decided to attend a new church, get baptized and really learn what the Bible says about living a righteous life. In a tiny non-denominational church with prayer warriors a plenty we went forth one Sunday to break the nicotine habit. I will never be able to explain how it happened, but I NEVER craved another Marlboro again. Jesus did that for me!
Now, after I quit smoking, two babies, and years of a more sedentary life, I have gained more weight then I care to admit. My family has a history of diabetes, I have high cholesterol, and I have had a gout attack; twice. It’s time to quit messing around and get busy. I am doing pretty well with my eating, some days better than others. I do tend to cheat once in a while. That reminds me I have half a brownie I need to either finish or dispose of. I don’t feel bad for cheating. I get right back on the wagon the next day.

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What has worked for me is walking. I used to have a walking partner, but she moved away. Now I struggle with staying dedicated to it alone. I can walk any time, in any weather. I do it in my basement to a tape or DVD. Now I know some people are going to wonder; really? Can you really lose weight that way? Yes, you can. I had lost 15 pounds, and then when I stopped concentrating on the goal I gained it all back and then some. Stress sabotaged me.Walking
This time I am determined to get to the goal. I have only lost six pounds with my new eating program and I am not struggling with finding the time to walk in doors with my tape. I always plan on going to bed early so I can get up before I need to worry about two teenage boys waking up in time for school. That’s about to change. They are old enough to get themselves up, and we just happen to have two small alarm clocks that are not in use. Soon I will have no more excuses.

Blessings,

Tammy Trail