If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk. – Hippocrates
It’s raining outside so I’m back doing laps around the dining room table and figure-eights into the kitchen to change direction. I first came up with this “indoor track” idea when Uncle John lived with us. When his glucose levels rose, I would get him to march around the dining room table to the Radetsky March by Strauss for the duration of the piece and his glucose levels would drop.
In the winter of 2022, when it was too icy or cold to go out, I revisited doing these laps, listening to Peloton outdoor audio tracks. Becs Gentry, a marathon runner, assembled a 30-minute power walk with a classical soundtrack. It started with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and featured Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.
Moving to music really works for me. When I am able to go outside and walk at my own speed ( 2.5-3.0 mph), I track metrics with the Peloton app on my iPhone. In the Spring, on nine consecutive days, I walked all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies. When I finally got to the “Ode to Joy,” my endorphins were pumped. Try it sometime.
The benefits of exercise are numerous. To highlight a few, physical activity can:
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Help manage stress
- Produce endorphins and “feel good” emotions
- Increase self-esteem and feelings of empowerment.
If you work days behind a computer and spend evenings in front of a television, you need sedentary breaks from prolonged sitting. Get up and walk during the commercials. Even my Apple Watch tells me it’s “Time to Stand.” Just 10 sedentary breaks per day can be beneficial in lowering systolic blood pressure. A meta-analysis of seven acute studies reviewed by Buffey, Herring, Langley, Donnelly and Carson in Sports Medicine (2022), “The Acute Effects of Interrupting Prolonged Sitting Time in Adults with Standing and Light-Intensity Walking”, showed that light-intensity walking was superior to standing in reducing post-prandial glucose. Looking back, it seems that we were on to something years ago, marching around the dining-room table to Strauss after dinner.
Walking is the most natural form of exercise, and if you are just mobilizing your fitness program, it’s an easy way to start. After all, we’re built to do it… we’re bipedal. So let’s get off our duffs and get moving… outside, inside, on the treadmill, and even while you’re on the phone – walk your talk.
♥ Susan L. Ward
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach