A Spring in my Step
The weather has finally cooperated enough in the past three weeks so the dogs and I could start our seasonal walks. I’m a fair-weathered walker and our winter was so brutal here this year that we all got out of shape pretty fast.
The first summer we lived here, the dogs and I would walk about 4 miles per day, even in the heat of July and August. When we moved here, Dale stayed in the city for three months finishing up a job while securing a position here. I was lonely and still in grief over the loss of my mother and the walks on those hot humid days seemed to purge the sadness from me somehow. It also did wonders for my stamina and weight loss. We had gone to our German exchange daughter’s wedding that summer and there’s nothing that will tell you that you’re out of shape faster than a trip to Europe where walking and biking is the norm.
By the time winter rolled around that year, I had lost about 25 pounds and felt great. One of the things I didn’t consider when moving to The Little House is how much exercise I actually got in the split-level we moved from in the city. Besides just the daily exercise of walking up and down stairs from taking the dogs out and letting them back in, I got quite a bit of exercise cleaning it as well. Now that my house can be cleaned in about 2 hours, my weight and my stamina have fluxuated with our fair-weathered walks.
The first week of our walks, the dogs and I did about 1/4 mile a day and by the second week, we were up to ½ of a mile. On Friday, we did our full mile and will stay at that walk until we can double that when the mornings warm up a bit.
I’ve found several benefits of taking walks, which include:
- Walking stimulates the endorphins in the brain, which curbs sadness and Depression.
- Clears my mind and makes my creativity flow – always a good thing for a writer.
- While the big dogs get plenty of exercise running in the woods everyday, the little dogs need an exercise routine to help them stay healthy and fit. The big dogs also look forward to the walks, as it is a set activity. I can already tell the little dogs have lost a little weight since we began walking this year.
- Walking our road helps me get back to nature, it tells me when the snakes are out (I’ve already seen 2 baby Copperheads on the road this year), when the tarantulas make an appearance in the summer and when the leaves begin to change in the fall. If we’re really lucky, we’ll see some other animals along the way.
- Of course, walking helps me lose weight, as well as building my stamina – something I need to climb up on the boat before it is launched on those many beautiful days on the lake in the warm weather months.
Do you have an exercise routine that changes with the seasons?
To the Irish, descendents of Irish and Irish-at-Heart, Have a very Happy St. Paddy’s Day!