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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Day 15 Walking 30 minutes a day can change your life

Day 15 Walking 30 minutes a day can change your life
These 2 photos are of my wonderful friend Elaine Davidson in October of 2011, a little over one year ago. We always walk down the trail that runs beside their home when I go to visit their home in Owen Sound.  On this walk in 2011 we went down the path and Elaine rode on her motorized chair (the Art Mobile). She was tired from all the work of her art show that weekend but still wanted to get down that path.  Elaine is one of the bravest and most determined people that I know ... and admire.  It had taken her a very long time to get her head around even getting a motorized chair ... she was determined never to go there. As it turned out she needed to look at it seriously because it had become increasingly difficult for her to get to places she wanted to go to sketch and paint due to pain, discomfort and fatigue.  When I began the walk30 campaign Elaine joined the monthly challenges almost right away. She has told me many times over the year that it has changed her life and until reading her words here I had no idea just how much walking each and every day has truly enriched her life on many levels. 
The picture below is of my friend Elaine this past October 2012 ... exactly one year after the first pictures. WOW! Pictures do say a great deal don't they?
Make a difference in your life ... come and join Elaine Walking on Strong into 2013 ... Sue 
Please enjoy her inspiring story below. 
Elaine on the Bruce Trail path near her home in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada October 2012

November 14th 2012 One year of walking 30 minutes a Day! by guest blogger Elaine Davidson 

At the risk of sounding like Oprah,  walk30 has CHANGED my life!  My friend Sue, who has been instrumental in changing my life once before (14 years ago introducing me to Art),  did it again a year ago when she started her walk 30 crusade.

What is walk 30?  Well its simple you get out there and walk somewhere for 15 minutes…turn around and walk back. (which turns out to be the best 30 minutes you could possible think of doing for yourself).

At first I found it a struggle, I have Spina Bifida (a neurological deformity of the spine)  in my case everything from T7 down is fused.  I have never really let this slow me down much, but I noticed that I was increasingly loosing some mobility.  Despite the fact that I walked 2 to three times a week and rode horseback.   OK so here's the thing, I started to do this walk 30 and it was only a short time when I started to feel a change.

1. I felt more energy, I couldn’t get over how I could do more in a day. Being an artist is tiring despite the assumption that "how hard could it be pushing a brush around?”.  I have accomplished at least 1/3 more work this year compared to last year.  I actually had leftover energy to feel like socializing or going out in the evening too.

2. I felt clearer in my head, able figure things out better, which seemed to last all day long.

3. New Ideas ... I would have this happen when I walked before.  But since I did it more often my creativity soared.

4. Weight loss ... at least a jean size.

5. Meditation ... always a challenge but active meditation         somehow works for me.  I think about how my toes, heels and other body parts feel as I take each step.  Totally being Present.

6. Improved posture, people actually ask me if I have had a hip replacement!  My Posture has improved because I practice walking tall!  And being 4’6” I have had people also say I looked taller.

7. It is such a routine for me I feel something is wrong with the day if I haven’t done it.  When I feel I don’t have the strength to exercise but somehow the routine just mindlessly walks you out the door, before you have a chance to say, "hey wait a minute, I don’t wanna do this".

8. Mindfulness, this sounds like meditation which I talked about earlier but it needs to be said again, cause we get so caught up in our thoughts we miss so much.  An being outside in Nature can take us there.

Well what are you waiting for???  If you can walk you can do this!  If it seems to long, start by going for 5 minutes and turn around and come back, I bet you will want to go longer.

Happy Trails

Elaine Davidson

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day 14 Keep on walking 30 minutes a day!

Day 14 Keep on walking 30 minutes a day!

I feel as if I haven't written a blog in ... forever but it has really only been 10 days.   In that time I have made it out the door for my walk 10 times (maybe more).  When I finished my first year of daily walk30's I had decided to keep on walking every day but to blog a little less.  I am just getting used to that idea and I actually miss getting on my computer everyday and reporting my walk or finding some bit of information that might make it easier for you to get motivated to move a little more.  I have to admit that I am getting more sleep ... leaving my blog until the last minute was a bit of a routine.

I have noticed that the colder weather has definitely made it  more of a challenge to walk outside.  Dave and I have also noticed that the numbers of walkers that come out to our weekly free walks are a little smaller.  Since daylight savings time is upon us again it is dark when we meet at the Public Square at 6:30 p.m..   I know that it just takes more of a push to regroup after dinner for a walk when the weather is colder and your walking in the dark.

If you are getting out there in the dark make sure that you are wearing some reflective clothing or a least some reflective stripes that you can get an outdoor store or even the dollar store. Another little tool that helps in the dark is a turtle light (seen above) ... they are approximately $5. at Mountain Co-op Store or other out door store and they attach to the zipper on your jacket. We really light up the streets when everyone is out there walking with their reflectors shining and lights blinking.

The other thing that we talk about a lot is making eye contact with drivers before you walk ... even in an intersection and you know that you have the right of way.  It really doesn't matter if you were in the right if you get hit by a car!

I really miss this blog so I think you may be hearing from me again soon ... until then ...
Walk On Strong!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Day 3 and 4 November walk30 Challenge

 I am the featured Artist at Seven Shores Cafe at 10 Regina Street in Uptown Waterloo  ... this is me with one of my paintings ... I love my comic book app!

Day 3 and 4 ... November walk30 Challenge
It must be the case that if you do something for a whole year it really does become a habit!  After completing my 12th month of walk30 Challenges I am finding it fairly easy to do my daily walks without any reservations.  I believe that because I feel that I have realized a number of benefits that come with daily exercise it has given me a solid foundation to work from.  I had some reservations and worries that it might be easy to just stop walking every day and ,even though it is only day 4, I feel that walking is one of my highest priorities.

Yesterday we had a cold weather to greet us as we set out from Uptown Waterloo with our Walk on Strong groups for both 14K and 5 K walks ... I believe that it was 1 degree Celsius. Fortunately the sun came out and as we walked everyone warmed up and really enjoyed being out.   We got to Seven Shores Cafe and everyone had a chance to a display of my art in the community room where we meet after our walks.  It is a good feeling to get your work out into the world and I am motivated to do more when I am getting feedback about my paintings.

Today Dave and I took Annie on a walk down a different stretch of the Grand River Trail. There are a number of inspiring trails here in Waterloo Region and we have decided that we should do a little more exploring.
I hope you got out in the fresh air for your walk30 this weekend!
Walk On Strong,

Friday, 2 November 2012

Day 1 and 2 ... Still walking30

Day 1 and 2 ... Still walking30
I am still determined to walk those 30 minutes every day! I tend to do my walking at the end of the day rather than the beginning so I was rather interested in an article from
about the dangers of night walking and how to stay safe.  
Please check this out ... the advice is great and there is a little good hearted humor involved too.

There have been an extraordinary number of pedestrians hit on Toronto city streets in the past week and 8 in one day with 2 fatalities!  We need to keep our heads up, our reflective gear on and make an effort to always make eye contact even when you are crossing at the light and have the right of way. It really doesn't matter if you are right if you get hit by a car.

So the last 2 days have been really chilly but I was out the door and today's walk was on a trail by the Grand River here in Kitchener. It was beautiful ... cold ... but gorgeous.
I hope your November Walk30 Challenge is going well.
Walk On Strong!