I’ve had The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walking for Health by Erika Peters on my shelf for two years and just opened it this week. I’m an avid walker and did not think I needed to read a book on the topic. My bad. After just a quick dip into the book, I learned at least five new ideas that will improve my walking routine.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walking for Health is packed full of information on every topic you can think of related to walking: how to get started, walking to lose weight, what to wear, taking care of your feet, and taking it to the next level. The book’s basic facts are a good reminder for even the most seasoned walkers. Peters teaches readers how to use heart rate as a measure for training effectively. She provides charts to help readers understand and improve their cardiovascular fitness. In addition, Peters has included photos of stretches that will keep the walker fit and injury free. For more experienced walkers, Peters offers challenges: walk faster, add intervals, or take a walking vacation.
As a writer, I spend much of my day sitting down, staring at a screen. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, scientists have connected prolonged sitting to all sorts of health troubles, even if the sitter exercises daily. Yikes. Since reading that report again, I’ve made an effort to get out of my chair at least once an hour and do something physical: put away laundry, walk around the block, or stretch. Unfortunately, I often get so involved in my work that I forget to take breaks and move.
This morning while I lifted weights, I listened to Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility by Ellen Langer. She cited several studies about priming. When we are exposed to positive health-related information, we make healthier choices. It occurred to me that I need to keep books like this one at my breakfast table—so I can prime myself to move more every day. That’s my advice for you. Put your healthy living book in places where you will flip through them every single day. No doubt you will be walking more, eating better, and feeling good.
Remember readers, you can win a copy of this book by commenting on the blog this week. I’d like to hear how walking has affected your writing.