Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day! Now go for a walk.

I just got back from a glorious 4 mile run in the beautiful sunshine of New Jersey, in celebration of National Running Day.   It feels so good to be on the road again!  I'm up to about 18-20 miles a week - a combination of walking and mostly running.  I'm also walking the dog for 2-3 miles a day as well, in addition to running. So these legs are making up for 2 months of surgery induced rest.

And the movement feels wonderful.  My heart is pumping, my muscles are working, my lungs are feeling full of healthy air.  Exercise does so much for the body - and the soul.

Has anyone seen the HBO documentary "Weight of the Nation"?  I really want to see it.  But you don't have to watch it to know that we are facing a crisis of obesity in this country.  I don't have to share the stats - we've all heard them.  We just have to look around and we can see the impact of an overfed and under-active society.

On the last few mornings of my walks/runs, a thought keeps popping into my head.  What if every person in this country went for a 15 minute walk every day.  Just 15 minutes?  No matter how busy we are, there are 15 minutes to spare.  No excuses.  Just get off your rear end and go for a walk.

Just think what it could do for us as a nation.

People say they are too unfit to walk for 15 minutes. Well, start somewhere.  You just have to start.  Getting fit reduces your risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancer, etc etc etc.  What's the downside of a walk?

People say there is nowhere to walk.  Well, if everyone got out and walked, perhaps demand for sidewalks could spur on construction projects, help the economy.  We are such a car oriented country.  A walk a day could change that.  I know that is simplistic, but why couldn't it help?

People say their neighborhood is too dangerous.  Well, if everyone went for a walk, couldn't the neighborhood be reclaimed in the name of safety?  You know the saying, safety in numbers.

What do I do with my kids?  Well, bring them along!  Kids love and need movement!

I don't have the right shoes.  Well, walk in what ever you've got.  Just walk.

I don't have the right clothes...

It's raining...

I'm tired.  I don't want to get up early...

Blah blah blah.

There are all sorts of excuses.  For everything and anything there is an excuse.

But imagine is everyone walked.  We'd say hi to our neighbors.  We'd stop being afraid of other people.  We'd get to know them instead.  We'd stop being addicted to our TVs, ipads, computers, phones.  So much good could happen.

So on this National Running Day, perhaps we should talk about having a National Walking Quarter of an Hour - every day.  A walk can accomplish a lot.

If only everyone would try it.

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