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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

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