Walking for Family Fitness

JMJ116  *It will improve your mood.  After a stir-crazy kind of morning with little ones, getting out of the house for a bit can definitely help your tired spirit.  I would suggest using a stroller, if you want any health benefit from it, otherwise you will be stopping at every butterfly, flower and snail crossing. 

Ring the School Bell 116/180 Days

Most days, as today, after the schoolwork is done, I will take a walk with one of the girls.  This tradition has been long-standing in our family.  My dad and I took frequent walks when I was growing up.  It was a time for us to share our thoughts and feelings, while getting the healthy benefit of exercise.  When my kids were babies, I would pack them on my back or all cuddled up in a front pack.  Later, it was the stroller, and now, of course, we are all the same size and just walk together.

Nowadays, I usually walk with one daughter at a time, so we can have some heart-to-heart conversation.  We all have our favorite routes.  Sabrina likes to take what we call the “heart walk”, which starts a half a block away, and proceeds up a steep road.  We still like to race the last 10 yards or so, to see who can make it to the top first, and be the first to touch the stop sign.

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Melissa and I take a loop around the neighborhood, which we like to call the “Disneyland route”, which showcases houses of wealthier neighbors and their perfectly manicured front yard landscapes.  Melissa thinks it is silly to race and so we don’t.

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Sarah likes a change of scenery, and is more of a hiker, so sometimes we drive down the road a mile to hike up Alisol Canyon.  It is very pretty and during the rainy season has views of green rolling hills.  It is one of our favorite spots on St. Patrick’s Day, with all of its greenery.

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Besides the obvious benefits of a time to bond with family and friends, the strengthening of your bones and muscles, and general wellness, what are other benefits of walking?

I can think of at least two of my own, and two more from the web.

It will improve your mood.  After a stir-crazy kind of morning with little ones, getting out of the house for a bit can definitely help your tired spirit.  I would suggest using a stroller, if you want any health benefit from it, otherwise you will be stopping at every butterfly, flower and snail crossing.  Which is fine sometimes, but not on an exercise walk.  When my kids were smaller, I had this awesome jog stroller which fit two of them at a time.  I used it so much!  It was an investment, but I recouped much of my original cash outlay when I later sold it to an ecstatic mom.  I also found that walking really helped the mild depressions I had for a few months after giving birth.

After working on algebra problems with your teenager, or anything else that might be mentally draining to you, it will mentally reenergize you.  And this is important if you have more mental work coming up in the afternoon.  It will increase your sense of alertness to tackle the rest of the day.

According to www.brainhq.com,  “Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.”  Sounds great!

Another resource, www.helpguide.org, states that, “Exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.”

Wow!  Where do I sign up?  Actually this is a motivation for me to continue walking, since I have been signed up for a very long time!

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette

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Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

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