Walking – My Favorite Exercise

By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Salesian Cooperator

Walking was not my choice of exercise until the COVID 19 epidemics hit us 19 months old. My gym closed down completely. I used to participate in the many programs offered by LA Fitness; Zumba, swimming and Yoga classes. I get bored easily, hence I decided doing different activities each day would negate the idea of doing “the same old thing everyday.” It worked until the gym closed down. Looking at my body and its horizontal growth, I decided to have to schedule a different routine. I decided to search through YouTube and located a 52 minute Zumba dancing program. Its main attraction was: “cut your belly fat in 10 days”. It is a rather strenuous program. But I have persisted, and it is part of my routine now. However, on the weekends, my favorite activity is walking. Let me share my joy and safety tips on walking with you this week.

Between 8 to 9 AM, you will find me circling the neighborhood. I will don on an oversized T-shirt, usually it is a hand-me-down T-Shirt from my son. I prefer light color ones as they do not absorb heat as quickly as the black tops. I have my nursing scrub long pants on; it is light, with many pockets to house my tissue paper, phone and house key. I painted my face and my arms with sun screen. Put on my mask, and here I go!

This time of the morning is suitable for me; it is not too cold, and the sun barely greets us from the East. I have seen neighbors walk early in the morning or late at night. To me, either time is a good choice. First of all, walking in the dark is dangerous. The morning commute drivers have a hard time seeing someone wearing a black spot outfit on the road. This applies to the nighttime walkers as well. Why take the risk when you can walk in broad daylight? Even if you put on a neon bright yellow vest, it is still not 100% injury proof.

For seniors, we always suggest focusing on one task at a time. For example, you would not check your email or search the internet while walking. I am not sure whether listening to the music while walking is safe. However, my person experience with one mask while walking is pretty safe: reciting my Rosary has not gotten me into trouble yet. As a matter of fact, walking and praying afforded me a special time to reflect. Who should I be praying for this morning? What kind of help am I asking the Lord to help me with? How should I handle this tough work situation? I thought this was a very good idea for those who like to multi-task. If I may share this secret with you – I saw Fr. Tim Ploch do the same thing when he walked the St. Joseph Youth Renewal Center during one of his provincial visits. After dinner, he would walk around with rosary in his hand. I wonder if he is still keeping this routine?

Mind what you are stepping on; this is a basic yet essential step for walkers. A small uneven little bump could cause you to trip and fall. My eyes are always on “where am I going?” I do pay attention to wet surface as well. In the morning, the neighbors would water their lawn. I make sure to circumvent the wet surface. Lately, I have developed a new strategy; I cannot always avoid wet surface when I travel, hence I decided to walk on the wet surface in very small steps. If a wet surface is mixed with soil, it becomes very slippery. Hence I pay attention to the surface and navigate my steps very cautiously. This is a good practice for me.

It is very refreshing to walk through the neighborhood and listen to the birds chirping. The blooming flowers appear to put on their best attires based on the onset of the four seasons and attract butterflies and bees to inspect their beauty. Where else can I find a better place to say my morning rosary?

Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: if you haven’t started, consider walking as your exercise activity. I promise you; it will be fun.

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