You cannot discover new roads until you’re willing to lose sight of your front door

Retirement exercise and healthDepending on where you live, you’re still waiting for warmer weather. Here in South Carolina we know Spring is here because the birds are serenading, and the blossoms are budding, and pollen is in the air, and on our cars.

Now that we’ve begun to downsize and simplify, Rob and I are ready to hit the road in our motor home. But what’s around our corner before we travel? Well, what’s around my corner is to get this body back in shape. These past weeks, like the blossoms, I’ve been budding, but in all the wrong places. The days and nights have been cold so I’ve spent too much time sitting by the fire sipping hot chocolate and eating Fritos. I know better, and so do you. So what are we REDs (Retired-Extremely-Daring) going to do about it? For me, traveling in our motor home isn’t the answer since that’s where the pounds have slowly jumped on board.

Have you noticed that the older we get, the harder it is to keep the pounds off? And once they’re on … well, ugh. I’m not here to lecture on how we need to lose weight. I’m here to say that we need to keep our bodies moving. It is one of the major keys to staying healthy. It’s easier to wrap up in a snugly blanket and watch a good movie rather than pull on our sweatshirt and walking shoes and head out the front door. I think you know what I’m getting at.

My encouraging words this month is to keep our bodies moving! The most successful way to make that happen is to start slowly. I’ve written a few tips that work because I use them. These suggest how to find the joy in the journey of running—or walking—your physical race and your spiritual race—at your own pace. This week I shared the following benefits at the Faith, Fitness and Flourish meeting at The Haven Coffee House on Main Street in Lexington SC.

  • Make sure you have a pair of comfortable walking shoes. They don’t have to be expensive, just supportive.
  • Slowly work your way up to a walking program that fits your schedule. Small steps are better than no steps. Whether you walk the first thing in the morning after coffee, or in the cool of the evening before your beverage of choice, head outdoors and walk around the block. Before you know it, you’ll be walking twice around the block.
  • The next time you go to the market, park a little farther away from the entrance.
  • Once you’re in the store, walk every aisle, and make sure you pick up your pace when you walk down that candy aisle.
  • Your time is valuable, but it will be well worth the time you spend walking. You’ll start feeling more energetic, and looking better too. You’ll soon look forward to walking anywhere and everywhere.
  • Your nearby indoor mall is a safe place to walk. REDs of all ages are walking around and around, at their own pace. Many walk alone, and some walk with their spouses or friends. If you’re a single RED, this is a safe place to meet someone, if you know what I mean.
  • You decide where the safest environment is for you. Once the weather turns sunny and bright, it’ll be a lot easier to step outside your front door. Before long, you won’t need a sweatshirt. I recently joined the international organization Run For God because they sponsor 5K walk/runs at various locations all year.

I was an avid runner for thirty-some years. At 54, a work injury and minor knee surgery temporarily kept me from my daily runs. Through the years it became more and more painful for me to walk, much less run. When I was 70, my knee specialist informed me that I was ‘bone-on-bone’ and I needed a knee replacement. I followed the good surgeon’s orders, so now I’m a bionic woman! I’m able to walk, swim, bike, and row as the weather allows.

Retirement exercise and healthI know there are many REDs who are unable to maneuver around so it’s understandable if you can’t begin a walking program. Perhaps you can share a few suggestions to those who aren’t as mobile by leaving a comment below.

But for those of us who can move and groove, we should consider ourselves blessed to have the chance to keep our bodies moving, even if its walking to our refrigerator for a … be careful what you eat now that you’re walking your way to a healthy lifestyle. We can cheat once in awhile but take it from me, too much cheating sticks to the hips.

Spring is here, so let this be a beginning of a healthier year for all of us.

Here’s wishing you oceans of healthy blessings!