When it comes to walking, it’s all good.
In case you hadn’t heard, there is a health and fitness trend that says walking 10,000 paces a day is good for your body, mind, and soul. For me, ten-thousand paces equates to about 5 miles on level ground, and will usually take me the best part of two hours to accomplish. Which begs the question; is it really worth my while to devote two hours a day, every day, just walking to somewhere, or even to nowhere and back again?
Well, actually, yes it is, and these are the reasons why.
Let’s start with something scientific and anatomical ~ blood flow in the legs. The circulation in our feet and legs only works because we use our calf muscles, and because of non-return valves in the veins. If we sit still, we have bugger-all blood flow in our feet and legs ~ which is why there’s a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis during long flights. If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, you are in danger of developing poor circulation, which is nasty.
So if you want to have healthy circulation, one of the things you can do is just get out of your chair, and walk.
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is. ~ Ellen DeGeneres
Walking more, whether it’s to go somewhere, or for leisure, or part of your health and fitness programme is an easy way to be more active without all that unpleasant sweating, huffing, and puffing that comes with some other forms of exercise. A brisk walk is classed as moderate-intensity activity, and does count towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Walking is a form of exercise that’s easy to fit into your daily routine, for example instead of taking the elevator up a couple of floors, take the stairs.
If you’re not used to taking much exercise, then don’t start off by trying to walk 5 miles. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you add 1,000 steps a week to your baseline average. This means you are going to need a pedometer, and the first thing you should do is measure how many steps you take in an average day. Very Well says that if you are an average American you will most likely be walking 5,000 steps in an entire day, (HA! I don’t believe a word of that, I’m certain the average Californian walks about 2,500 steps a day.)
The respected Mayo Clinic is very keen on walking as a form of exercise and even has a 12-week walking schedule based on work done by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The benefits of walking include improving your blood pressure, energy, happiness, mental health, skin tone, sleep, stamina, strength, stress levels ~ as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, joint problems, obesity, a stroke, and nasty diseases in general. On top of that you are going to look and feel a hell of a lot better. The key to walking for health and fitness is to build walking into your daily schedule.
These days I am keen on meditation and mindfulness, but I find it difficult to meditate in the traditional fashion. So, I meditate during yoga, and I also practice a form of walking meditation. I have never been taught, nor led through yoga meditation or walking meditation, these are mindfulness practices which just came naturally to me.
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
All of us should also do some strength exercises, at least twice a week, particularly as we get older. Personally I like to do some yoga, but I also add an isometric workout into my daily walk. This two-for the price of one routine means that I make the most use of the couple of hours I spend in the fresh air and sunshine, (we sometimes get sunshine in England).
You don’t have to believe me that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good idea. Just google 10,000 steps and you will come across loads of articles by people such as the well-respected Dr Mercola who say that walking 10,000 steps a day is a basic requirement for good health and fitness.
In life a couple of things now scare me; having a stroke and developing dementia. If I can improve my chances of avoiding these life-destroying conditions, then a couple of hours walking every day seems a small price to pay.
Life’s a Beach.
A Spider sewed at Night
Without a Light
Upon an Arc of White
If Ruff it was of Dame
Or Shroud of Gnome
Himself himself inform
Unlike a close friend of mine,
I am not a big fan of spiders,
nor scorpions, nor octopuses.
Real Men don’t eat quiche.
Not all frittata are called frittata, sometimes they’re called a quiche, and in this part of the world they may be called a ham and egg pie. The thing is a good frittata is an extremely versatile dish. One can make it for lunch, or a light dinner, and then have it for breakfast, lunch at work, or dinner with a salad the following day.
This is an interesting, quick, and easy recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks ~ kale and tomato frittata. You can make this in 10 minutes, or if you’re like my friend in Southern California ~ a half-hour.
Kale and Tomato Frittata
This is a fabulous recipe from Heather Christo ~ frittata with shitiake mushrooms and goat’s cheese. Some say they’re not a fan of goat’s cheese, without ever actually having tried it. Trust me, this is a great combination.
Frittata with Shitiake Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese
Chive and Brie Frittata
From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is we have a spiralized sweet potato, kale, and bacon quiche, which looks a fabulous dish. This recipe may also be better than a normal frittata to take to work for lunch because of the pasty base.
Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and Bacon Quiche
Seasonal Vegetable Frittata
I know that my friend in Southern California like butternut squash, (don’t ask me why), so just to please her I have found this recipe from English Lady Petra at Food Eat Love ~ butternut squash frittata. I guess I could make it for my friend in SoCal…
Butternut Squash Frittata
In this part of England the nearest thing we usually get to a frittata, or a quiche for that matter, is a ham and egg pie, (sometimes and egg and bacon pie). Savoury pie isn’t something I’ve often seen in my travels around the USA, but you guys should really try this old-fashioned egg and bacon pie. What a great recipe for a picnic, or as something to take to the office for lunch.
Old Fashioned Egg and Bacon Pie
Finally for this week’s Food on Friday we have another one of those recipe compilations. This one from All Recipes UK has 62 different frittata for you, including this dead easy onion frittata from Maria Antoniette.
I’m afraid my friend Marmaduke
only likes his eggs soft boiled.
you reach the end of day
just wishing you could fly away
from people, places and possessions
but as happens with all commitments
you can find yourself caught in such a trap
you get so used to it you can’t find your way back
just assert yourself and hope they won’t all desert you
you know when you are not yourself every day just hurts
Take Good Care Of Yourself.
It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all. Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child
Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases. (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)
Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…
There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well. Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.
At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks. Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish. In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.
We are what we eat. Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health. I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight. It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. ~ Jostein Gaarder
Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things. When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates. Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.
Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.
I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon. Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too. Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…
There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still a fire inside.
As we grow older, we are justified in taking far more risks, embarking on far more adventures, pursuing far more dangerous dreams, than is someone in their more youthful years.
It’s not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I read an article in my news feed about a 101 years old great-grandfather who has just taken up skydiving. You may think that sounds crazy, but what has Verdun Hayes got to lose? The veteran of D Day has already lived a long life, and if he kills himself doing something dangerous, by how may days, months, or years has he cut his life short? Not that many I’d bet.
Contrast this with a man in his twenties, who has just started a family ~ just the kind of man we would expect to go skydiving. If he kills himself, not only has he cut his life short by maybe 50 years, he’s also orphaned his children and widowed his wife. Maybe that young father should be careful, risk averse, not very adventurous.
I would argue that as we grow older we have much less to lose than we had when we were young, so why not gamble more, take more risks, become more adventurous in our senior years?
A twenty-three years long study in Ohio determined that people who saw growing older as something positive lived a whopping seven and a half years longer than those who didn’t. ~ Victoria Moran
Later this year I’m flying out to California, picking up a Mustang convertible, meeting up with ‘the girl who rides shotgun’, then driving across California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming to witness a total eclipse of the sun on Monday August 21st. I think that’s a pretty crazy adventure, but what have I got to lose? Not a lot.
Taking risks with your wealth, health, and happiness, (not to mention taking risks with your life), is not really for the young. As we grow older we can afford to gamble more because we have much less to lose.
Don’t waste your life by working another 10 years slaving away in that 40 hours a week job. Have fun instead, add adventure to your senior years, you have nothing to lose except your unhappiness.
Every now and then even a strong man cries.
May I walk happily, and may it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me, happy and and beautiful below.
May it be beautiful above me and may beauty be all around my heart.
In beauty I cry and wonder, and in beauty there is both my sadness and joy.
Today I am the Chief Mourner at my Father’s Funeral.
Close thine eyes, and rest secure
Thy soul is safe enough; thy body sure;
He that loves thee; He that keeps
And guards thee, never slumbers, never sleeps
The smiling Conscience in a sleeping breast
Has only peace, has only rest.
Poet, 1592 -1644