Walking for Exercise

October 28th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I sometimes think you would like to read a blog entirely about my diabetic life.  And then I think, I don’t really HAVE a diabetic life… I have MY life!  So just like my life, my posts have a lot to do with diabetes but they have a lot to do with other things, too, like exercise and how I think physical movement and exercise impact my diabetes and the rest of my life.  And how having diabetes affects my thinking.  And on and on and on!

I ran an errand on my way home from bootcamp this morning and passed by the high school after the students had started class.  This meant I drove past the track as the students were in P.E.


Now, I know for a fact that not all high schoolers like physical activity.  I know for a fact that not all high schoolers like, um, well, ANYTHING. 

But they DESERVE something more than a saunter in circles for their P.E. class: yikes.

And not one of them looked or acted like their heart rates were elevated.  At all.

Not one.

This is what concerns me about telling people to take a walk.  “Walk” can simply mean almost anything to anyone, so let’s lay some ground rules for walking.

  1. Walking at any speed is preferable for our health to most other modes of transportation.
  2. Walking for transportation is different than walking for exercise.
  3. One cannot walk for exercise AND hold a cup of coffee.  (Sorry.)
  4. One should sweat and be out of breath during and after walking for exercise.
  5. One cannot walk for exercise AND hold a cell phone.  (Still sorry.)
  6. I’ve seen friends walk for exercise and it turns into a stroll-and-chat.  Good, but not the “moderate exercise” so recommended for everyone’s health.  If you are going to walk for exercise with a friend or family member, speak together before you go out and discuss the goals: is it to walk quickly and raise your heart rate and keep it elevated, or is it a stroll-and-chat?  You will slow down if you aren’t both on the same page.
  7. One cannot walk for exercise AND carry a shopping bag.  (Sorry again.)
  8. Walking for exercise is free.
  9. Walking for exercise can be performed in almost any weather.  (Really.)
  10. Walking for exercise gets you outside in the fresh air.
  11. Walking for exercise is easy to do.  Just… walk.

So what are we waiting for??

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