I used to run regularly. Growing up, I used to enjoy playing any sport that included sprinting around the neighbourhood. I chuckled when my father tried to convince me to play golf, claiming it wasn’t quick enough. Maintained a constant running schedule over the years, participating in 5Ks, half-marathons, and marathons in my 20s after running competitively in high school. I didn’t want to go slowly.
However, at the age of 25, I suffered from acute patellar tendinitis in my right knee after running the Chicago Marathon. At the time, I was residing in Chicago, and it was difficult to live with continual knee pain in a city where you needed to walk everywhere.
After the accident, I experienced defeat. I had worked out, and I made sure to do my long runs and weight exercises on my off days. Despite that, nothing changed. I was compelled to take a sabbatical, and I had to accept the possibility that I might have outlived my competitive running days. This period of time had the potential to destroy me or inspire me to change my course in life. Instead, it offered me a completely other perspective.
During that period, I not only grew to love walking and other forms of exercise, but I also came to embrace weight training. I noticed the Windy City’s amazing architecture, the beauty of Lake Michigan, and the population’s diversity in a fresh perspective as I took walks throughout the large city of Chicago. My new coping mechanism was to go for walks.
Years later, following an unplanned C-section, I was left feeling sore and worn out while taking care of a newborn a month earlier than I’d anticipated. In those first few weeks after giving birth, walking was not only the only activity I was permitted to do, but it was also the only activity my body felt healthy enough to perform. My method of healing—both physically and mentally and emotionally—involved walking. Even if it was only for a short while each day, I was able to spend time outside in the sun. I could push my newborn up the hill in a stroller and feel the endorphins that I’d missed from working out flowing once more. The only other grownups I would encounter during the day could say hello and I could breathe in the pure air.
Even though I now have two children and a double stroller, walking is still one of my favourite weekly workouts. It not only keeps me in shape but also allows my family and I to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors, and experience the positive effects of walking. I walk up hills and quicken my pace to get my heart rate up and feel a little more burn in my lower body.Stroll and take breaks if I’d rather take my time and appreciate the scenery.
I never discounted walking as a beneficial activity during my journey; in fact, I routinely advise it to my clients and the online fitness community as a fantastic way to keep active and get cardio. Although I had always valued running, I recently realised how much walking could change my life. For this very reason, I accepted a position as an ambassador for the Prevention Virtual Walk. I want other people to realise how beneficial it is to lace up your shoes and go for a walk.
To really understand how amazing walking can be, it required me suffering an injury, getting surgery, and going through the significant lifestyle change that comes with having children. Certainly for your heart and muscles, but also for your mind and soul.