Self Care – Walking

I did it. I’ve been walking between 2 to 4 miles a day. The fortunate aspect of this walking habit is that I live in a small town and most of the businesses I need to frequent for errands are within a mile from my boat. The furthest I need to walk is 1.7 miles one way to the bank (so that’s 3.4 miles that day), which I visit once or twice a week. Other days I walk to and from work about 2 miles a day.

I really want to share the benefits I’ve been receiving from this daily walk. Before, when I was working on the boat writing blogs or planning marketing for the massage business, I would get depressed from being home alone and sitting for long periods of time in front of the computer. I realized that since I’ve been walking, I don’t get depressed  nor do I feel jittery and unfocused. I remember as a young (twenty something) person, I was very physically active, happy and focused. It seems that walking, especially first thing in the morning, wakes up my body, loosens the joints, activates the lymphatic system, cleans out toxins (accumulation of which I believe are a contributing cause of depression) and tones every muscle in the body. I’m talking about brisk walking with arms swinging and hips swaying.

Ask a friend to walk with you, catch up on the latest news and derive some health benefits at the same time. Walking in nature wakes up your senses as you breath in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face. What an awesome way to start your day.

So I want to share with you 20 Benefits of Walking.

  1. It’s accessible to everyone.
  2. Helps with weight management.
  3. Doesn’t require special equipment.
  4. One of the easiest ways to become more active.
  5. Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  6. It’s a low impact exercise.
  7. Lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL – the bad cholesterol).
  8. Raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL – the good cholesterol).
  9. Lowers blood pressure.
  10. Reduces the risk of some cancers.
  11. Helps reduce risk and aids with the management of Type 2 Diabetes.
  12. Improves mood.
  13. Helps maintain strong bones.
  14. Reduces the risk of heart attack.
  15. Less likely to lead to injuries.
  16. Reduces stress.
  17. Reduces risk of heart disease.
  18. FREE – you don’t have to pay for it.
  19. Builds aerobic fitness.
  20. Helps maintain lean muscle tissue.

My favorite stretches before and after walking.

Image result for walking stretches

Tell me about your walking experiences, I would love to hear from you.

Many Blessings,

Kathy Brokos, LMT

 

Self Care?

When did we first start hearing about self care? My first time was about 5 years ago. My life drastically changed. I went from being in a committed relationship and my son in high school to being single, my son graduated from high school, moved out of town to be on his own and with friends. Wow! Lots of changes in a short period of time.

Self Care? What does that mean? I always thought it was selfish to care about myself. Where did I get that idea? So, here I am, single, alone and the first thing I did was go back to school, join a gym, that I visited quite often, and journaled. I was determined to do this self care thing.

I graduated from the local community college with an AAS in Massage Therapy, found an opening in a spa where I can practice therapeutic massage and have been helping other people with their self care program. As I delved into caring for myself and giving massages, I discovered that most people in my community are so busy taking care of others that self care doesn’t even fit into their day. No wonder so many people are stressed out, not happy with their physical appearance, and don’t have time for family because of so many demands on their time.

Maybe the first thing we can do for ourselves is to schedule daily time for self care. It is not “selfish” at all. Think about the last time you flew in a plane and one of the things they tell you to do in case of emergency, is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others. Possibly we should adopt this philosophy in our daily lives. How can we be available for our family members or co-workers if we are sick or lethargic because we don’t eat healthy foods or get enough sleep every night.

So I pose these questions to you: What areas of your life are you neglecting? Are you getting enough sleep each night? Drinking adequate water to stay hydrated? Eating healthy foods and having regular meals? Time for play? Time for family? Time for self? Are you exercising regularly? Have a spiritual practice?

I wonder!

My goal for 2017 is to add self care practices to my life. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with a ton of New Year’s resolutions that I won’t keep, but realistic monthly goals of adding one new habit of self care to my life. It takes 21 days for a new neuro-pathway to be created and adding the extra 7 days (28-30 in a month), I’m sure to establish the new self care habit before adding another one to my plate.

I challenge you to join me. Tell me what areas of your life you would like to improve, or start taking care of that have been neglected. Also, tell me what you would like to know about certain self care issues in your life. I would be glad to research those issues and share the results with you.

Are You Ready for a New YOU?

Blessings,

Kathy Brokos, LMT