Helping Us Live Longer

Vitamin D Sunlight Exposure

Shopping: My wife dropped me off yesterday (Sunday) at a store where I was looking to buy some electrical parts that I need for an invention I am working on. It was one of those stores in a shopping mall some way out of town where people seem to flock on a Sunday – perhaps through boredom, and it was very busy. However, as I am trying to keep myself reasonably fit and at the correct weight, I told my wife that I would enjoy a walk back into town – a distance of about four or five miles.

On my own: What struck me as I walked back to town was the fact that I was alone. I was the only person walking. Everyone it seemed was in a car, speeding by me. I had to watch as I crossed the road. It was dangerous. People it seemed were in a hurry to get to and from wherever they were going to.

Is it good? I know that regular exercise lessens the likelihood of heart disease, and lowers blood pressure but I also know that as it did for me yesterday, it lifts your spirits. It makes you feel good. I am no doctor, but I am sure that a regular shot of something as simple as walking is good for me. In all, it’s a tonic that takes me away from the stress of daily grind. It’s good for your heart, your head and your wallet – it cost me nothing to get back home. Of course I know that I won’t lose much weight, but I am certain in the knowledge that it pumps the lymphatic drainage system in my body (lymph nodes are found in the groin and other places in the body and act as filters preventing foreign particles entering the blood-stream). But it’s a static system and only works if you make your body move. Thus by walking I am activating my system – and helping myself.

Are you lazy? So what stops us from exercising? Some people still equate exercise with the sweat and monotony of a gym class. Others think they don’t have time, or it’s too expensive, or they just don’t know how to get started. But as I walked yesterday I listened to the birds singing, I watched some fellows (older chaps) at a pond in the park playing with their radio-controlled model boats. I took a route through the back streets away from the traffic, and walked past all sorts of houses and gardens. In the process I had many a smile at what people have done to make similar houses different by adding bushes and flowers, changing the window dressing – or even the ones that I had to puzzle over who had concreted their front garden.

Good footwear: Exercise hasn’t changed. It’s not rocket-science. It doesn’t need to take hours. It doesn’t require spending huge amounts on equipment. I have a good pair of trainers that I wear now and again, but mostly – as with yesterday – just had good, sensible, comfortable shoes, that have plenty of ‘wiggle room’ for my toes.

Stay young: Now that spring has finally sprung, I have been able to get out more and I am enjoying it. I have no set routine; I don’t put myself under pressure stating that I must do this or that, I just think of the benefits – I feel stronger, look younger and fitter (honestly I don’t look my age), I have more energy during the day – and most importantly I sleep better. I am also helping to build muscle and prevent bone loss, tone my physique, and limber up my joints by increasing their flexibility.

Go green: Walking is a great way as I did yesterday to connect with nature, while I have no doubt that it reduces my stress levels, improves my mood, enhances my psychological wellbeing and improves my attention and concentration. Walking also helps the planet. By parking the car up and walking yesterday I was helping to reduce air pollution and doing my little bit to help the environment.

Get social: All I need now is to find a friend that I can share my walks with. It’s good to walk on your own though as you can think things through – perhaps things that have been troubling for a while. You can sing, you can whistle and you can as I did, smile!  The best thing about walking is that you can do it solo or with friends, and it doesn’t cost a thing. We have local Ramblers Group, a dedicated walking group that I may ask to join. I know that there are lots of similar ones all throughout the whole of the UK. So why don’t you give it a try. It costs nothing to join, yet adds much in benefits to your health and wellbeing.  Set up all over the country they organise weekly walks across the country with volunteers leading the pack. There are plenty of Ramblers websites in the UK. So, why don’t you give it a try? If you are already a member – well done to you.