Category Archives: Spirituality

Why walk 5 miles a day, every day?

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.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday ~ Sand, Sea, and Sun

Life’s a Beach.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

arachnids

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

~

Of Immortality

His Strategy

Was Physiognomy

Emily Dickinson

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Unlike a close friend of mine,

I am not a big fan of spiders,

nor scorpions, nor octopuses.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get yourself free

~

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

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Senior Adventures

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.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Everybody Hurts Sometimes

Every now and then even a strong man cries.

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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.

Navajo Prayer.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Rest

Today I am the Chief Mourner at my Father’s Funeral.

Rest

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.

Francis Quarles

Poet, 1592 -1644

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

carpe diem

~

This day only is ours,

we are dead to yesterday,

and we are not yet born to the morrow.

But, if we look abroad and bring into one day’s

thoughts the evil of many, certain and uncertain,

what will be and what will never be, our load will be

as intolerable as it is unreasonable.

Jeremy Taylor

theologian, 1613 -1667

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

content and happiness

No matter where you go, you take yourself with you.

The foundation of content must spring up in a man’s own mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing everything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless effort, and multiply the griefs which he proposes to remove.

Samuel Johnson 1709 – 1784

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

end of days

~

That the end of life is not action,

but contemplation ~

being as distinct from doing ~

a certain disposition of mind,

is, in some shape or other,

the principles of all the higher morality.

Walter Pater 1839 – 1894

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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