Today was a special day for me. We moved our clocks up one hour and can now enjoy an extra hour of daylight. For decades, this has always been a special day for me. It’s truly a sign that the spring season has arrived and if you live up North, that is always a welcomed season, especially after cold winters. Our beautiful trees and flowers begin to bloom and people seem to be in a better mood.
This day always reminds me of the years my sons were involved in Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball. Setting our clocks forward meant the beginning of a few months of fun and excitement ahead for our family. The community of players, family members and coaches were ready for some outdoor activities, after feeling cooped up inside during cold winter evenings. This day also marks the beginning of seeing neighbors outside starting up their lawn mowers and working on their lawns and flower beds. You get a chance to talk with them about current events and there seems to be an awakening of communication that was dormant for several winter months.
As we move our clocks forward, we have a choice to take this day for granted and not view it as a special day; or we can plan for opportunities and benefits this extra hour of daylight can provide for us. This lesson is obviously about the latter of the two choices. That is to make something special happen today!
My advice: why not utilize this extra hour of daylight to start a new health habit that I am very fond of....WALKING? You would have to live on another planet – to not hear or read about the numerous benefits of the simple habit of walking for 30 minutes a day. I have heard experts in almost every specialty of medicine, list walking as a near miracle habit for prevention as well as rehabilitation for many of our diseases and ailments. We could probably reduce our “total medical spending costs” in half in the United States – by having everyone walk briskly for 30 minutes a day. So much pain and suffering….mentally, physically and financially, could be avoided by preventing debilitating and killer diseases that sneak up on us through the aging process. Keeping in mind that if you become ill, you may spend six times the 30 minutes a day, traveling to doctors; sitting in waiting rooms; traveling to take expensive tests; and spending time in hospitals costing 5-10 thousand dollars a day.
When you sit down and really think that by investing 30 minutes a day walking, you can prevent so much misery from entering your life – you have to get motivated a little to begin this miracle habit. However, in reality, it really takes more to get started. First you might have to really FOCUS on researching and studying all the benefits and really believing in them. Besides the many health benefits you discover – it will still take MORE to get started. Perhaps you love music – and you can buy an I-pod or other MP3 player and download all your favorite music on it. Then when you walk – you will view it as having some free time to listen to all the music you LOVE! It will take a reason like this or some other, to get you excited to walk - beyond the obvious health benefits.
I watch many people walk with someone else, to have company. While this seems great in the beginning, the problem arises when other commitments or a lack of interest forces one of the walkers to quit the routine – only to find the second walker quitting as well. Thus it’s best to develop your own discipline and reasons for walking; make sure you enjoy it; and make it a habit for life. More than likely after all your reasons are in place, you still will need a major PUSH from someone to begin day 1 of your new habit. That’s where this lesson comes in.
I happen to be a proud veteran walker for over eleven years. Make my story your major push. One of my MAJOR goals in life is to walk around the world (24,901 miles) in 25 years. In my mind, I already have a big party planned for the year and month that I achieve this worthy goal. I want to celebrate this achievement with my family and closest friends, since they have been hearing this tune for the last eleven years. Those who know me may have been skeptical when I first set this goal. However, after 11 years, I guarantee you they are no longer skeptical.
Breaking down this goal amounts to 996 miles a year or 83 per month. The lowest common denominator is 2.77 miles a day. For me that’s a do-able number. When I walk, I entertain myself with audio books to learn and grow. I will have logged over 7000 hours of learning during that 25 year stretch. Now that’s a major reason to walk – that compliments all of the health benefits. That’s my major push. How about you? Start taking advantage of that extra hour of daylight beginning today. Figure out your reasons to walk today. Start getting healthier today! If you wait even one day to begin planning, the major push from this lesson will have expired. GET GOING RIGHT NOW!