Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Things About Walking

I can't believe I have walked every day for 16 days so far.  Hopefully I will walk every day for the rest of the year and beyond!  But I am taking it one step at a time and walking a bit everyday to chip away at my goal to walk 1000 miles this year (and also to practice for the marathon I want to walk and the one-day 25 mile hike from rim to rim at the Grand Canyon which is also on my goal list).  Here's 10 things I've learned about walking so far:
  1. The right shoes are worth their weight in gold.  Regular running shoes kill my feet after a couple of hours of walking in stiffer walking-specific shoes make my feet feel wonderful even after many many miles.
  2. I've always walked with a regular day pack but last month I spend a bunch of money to get a really good day pack and it has made a huge difference!  This one is super comfortable, has a wonderful belt that makes the thing practically immobile when it is on me, has useful pockets on the hip belt, and overall carries the load really well no matter how much weight I am hauling.
  3. Walking is a great exercise to keep in shape.  It is free--just walk out your door, can be done anywhere, can be done with a group or by yourself, and after a couple weeks of walking your whole body will feel better.
  4. When you feel a hot spot on your foot, stop immediately and take care of it.  I've put these things off a couple of times when I have done long distance walks and always regretted it--it can go from a hot spot to a huge blister in the matter of a mile or two.
  5. Always carry with you: water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a sweater, tissue, a snack, cash, a cell phone, a tiny first aid kit, and an umbrella if you are walking in a rainy area.
  6. Once you start walking a lot you will realize how important the food you fuel your body with is.  Sugary carby breakfast cereal just won't give you the energy to walk very far compared to a high protein meal to start your day.
  7. That being said, some carby sugary candy is a great way to keep yourself going once you start walking.  I always carry chocolate with me when I walk.
  8. Your health will improve.  People who walk everyday, especially those who walk long distances will not only lose weight and build muscle as well as increase stamina, they will probably find that medical problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure are much more manageable.
  9. Be safe when you walk.  You might want to carry pepper spray, you definitely want to carry a cell phone, you will want to pick the places you walk with a concern towards your safety, and you definitely want to use crosswalks/crossing lights to get across busy roads.
  10. Starting a walking program is hard--it is much easier to stay on the couch and be lazy or use the excuses of everyday life to keep you at home instead of on your feet and walking but committing to walk even a mile or so a day is something that everyone can do (and once you are used to walking, your speed and stamina will increase and that mile will only take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete!). 

Daily Update

  • Walk: 2 miles (only 946 more miles to go!)
  • No spend: $2 (hubby had a hot dog at the casino for lunch--I need to remember to send a sandwich with him!)
  • Update this blog: yep
  • Update client blog: yep
  • Photo: yep
  • Client work: 1 hour (for a different client working on her website)
  • Genealogy: a little, I'm making a list of documents I need to get at the genealogy library which provides free access to documents only available on paid sites)
  • Writing: yes, also a little.  I need to reorganize the entire document then make a list of parts to write in order to fill in gaps

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