Sunday, April 26, 2009

My wife, the streetwalker

My wife, and longtime friend, recently became a streetwalker.

She tries to walk the streets every day after work, and says that she enjoys the experience. Most of the time, she feels much more energetic afterwards.

Before your mind wanders too much in the wrong direction, let me clarify what I’m talking about.

For more than 30 years, I’ve been a very active bicyclist, and our children have also caught the disease. Our daughter makes a living as a bicycle tour guide for Bobby’s Bike Hike in downtown Chicago (which rates as #2 out of 504 attractions in Chicago), and our son owns THREE bicycles.

On my wife’s side of the family, though, the “E” word (exercise) has never been a favorite topic.

Totally out of the blue, Sharon recently joined a local group called W.O.W.(Women Out Walking), which was organized and sponsored by the City of Evanston in order to highlight the importance of physical activity in women.

At the start of the 12 week program on March 21, participants were issued pedometers and walking journals, and received information on various health issues facing women.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that there are similar groups in other countries around the world, which you can read about at the link below:

strolling in Merry Olde England

If your local community does not have a similar program, there are a variety of places where you can buy your own pedometer, and start logging your steps on your own.

For a number of years, Sharon has subscribed to Guideposts magazine.

The featured contributor for the January, 2008 issue was a woman named Leslie Sansone, and her article was titled “Walk This Way and Find Happiness”. Unlike most of us, she actually walks for a living, as well as for recreation.

If you’re REALLY ambitious, you may be interested in participating in the JFK 50 mile walk/run on the Appalachian Trail, which has been held every year since 1963.

If you’d like to learn more about the Appalachian Trail, and have a good laugh at the same time, I’d recommend reading Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”.

I’m delighted that Sharon is EXCITED about strapping on a pair of walking shoes and strolling through the local neighborhoods, but I would like to see more of “my fellow Americans” doing the same thing.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 33% of American adults are obese, and obesity-related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco-related deaths.

If you decide to take up walking for the purpose of improving your health, and your route takes you past a donut shop, keep these words in mind:

In closing, though I try very hard never to give unsolicited advice, I’ll leave you with these closing words:

“Hey, buddy, take a hike”.

1 comment:

  1. Great helps when there is picturesque scenary to walk around ~