All through November I posted on walking, and you can see day 11 - 17 here!
Let down your arms and swing!
It's time to let your upper body move! Straighten your elbows, pull your arm back, and let it swing forward as you walk. This will strengthen your triceps muscles (back of your upper arm) as well as your shoulders, back and chest, while increasing circulation and massaging your lymph system (arm pits!) Let your arms free!
Walking with purpose ...
Here in the Western world we most often walk for its own sake, as an activity for exercise, recreation, site seeing, etc. But in many parts of the world walking is a means to accomplishing a task. For instance, if your source of water is a mile away, you'll walk that distance to get your water as often as is necessary. So today we start to look at where we can swap out convenience and technology and input a little walking. I find there are many little errands I run that I can walk to, and I can walk to the grocery store, and I can walk to lunch. If driving is a habit (and it is), we can take the opportunity to change that habit in small ways.
November 13 is World Kindness Day ...
Today your challenge is to use your wonderful walking powers for good! There are so many ways we can walk as an expression of kindness, here are just a few I've thought of:
inviting someone out for a walk
organizing a walk with kids to give busy parents a break
walk the dog for someone who's unable
pick up litter on your daily walk
leave affirming messages out and about on your daily walk
volunteer to walk dogs at the animal shelter
And those were just the first that came to mind! I'm so excited to crowdsource ideas for this one - if you have any you'd like to share please visit facebook or instagram and comment.
How are your joints experiencing your walk?
Have a good look at the picture. Killer legs, no doubt. But also flexed hips and knees. Her heeled shoes are creating a situation for her joints where she must lean forward from the hips and bend her knees in order to remain balanced and upright. In the occasional dose this would be no big deal, but for many of us we spend our day in 'professional' gear (which usually involves a heeled shoe, yes, even men's dress shoes) and then come home and change into our casual shoes for our other activities ... which also have a positive heel. So if your hips, knees, or back are giving you grief especially when walking, you may consider a look at your shoe selection to see if you're overdosing on heel positivity.
Give your feet an exciting walk!
Walking on pavement will keep our shoes cleaner, but what it won't do is move our feet and ankles in different ways. We have 26 bones and 33 joints in our feet, and they are designed for off roading texture! When our feet move we have better balance, circulation, strength, and less foot pain. For maximum texture benefit our shoes must be flexible enough to feel the change in terrain. So have a look at your shoes - are they rigid or flexible in the sole? Is there a lot of padding - as in, if you walked over rocks, can you feel them? Spice up your walk with more texture!
If your Fitbit or Apple Watch didn't record your walk, did it happen?
I'm not tech-shaming here, believe me. I make use of tech daily, often on my walks. But that's exactly why the challenge today is to go without it. When you take the earbuds out, you get to experience your surroundings in a different way. And when we leave the phone or the watch at home, we don't feel as mentally pulled away from the present. And losing the fitness tracker once in a while can help us find another reason to motivate our walks besides logging steps, miles, or reaching our target heart rate. So today and maybe every once in a while, take the acoustic version of your walk - unplugged.
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright
November 17th is National Take a Hike Day! You could take this as an opportunity to get on the trails and do some legit hiking, and I hope you do! But wherever you choose to take your walk, the challenge today is this: go the distance. We tend to get into a rut, doing our usual routes or usual miles/number of steps. But it works your body and mind in a different way when you take on a long walk. It could be an adventure, a chance to explore farther than you've done before!