I love going for long walks. It makes me happy. My first taste of walking for fitness started in 2007. Decided to skip the train ride from work, walking home instead. It was a 6 km journey with some incline on the way. Took me a little over an hour.
Walking from the city centre across the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a sensational experience. Sydney harbour view is truly one of the best in the world – every day walking across, I would think how extremely lucky we are to live in this beautiful city. This walk-home-from-work routine continued for a few months until we moved further up and walking was no longer a conceivable option.
The walks restarted again by end of 2008, in summer, during my maternity leave. I teamed up with a Brazilian friend (also on maternity leave) and came up with an action plan. We had quite a few unnecessary kilos to lose. Both of us, on an unspoken, silently understood mission. If you’ve ever come across a woman from Brazil, you would know that nothing comes in between a Brazilian woman and skinny – I had the perfect partner.
We spent 2 months on our mission. Balmoral Beach and Cremorne Point would recognise the sound of our footsteps and prams in tow from miles away. We averaged around 14 km a day for 8 weeks. Rain, hail or shine, just kept on walking…The results, needless to say, were exceptional. However the 14 km a day was no longer sustainable once maternity leave was over…
I tried on and off to continue my walks but its challenging without a walking partner motivating you each day. Although I enjoy my own walking company a lot, but fail miserably in the motivation department, especially in winter months. Having a dog forces me out the house mostly but my legs are so used to walking stretches at a time, that a 3 km dog paced walk around the block isn’t inspiring.
Recently discovered the enclosed loop harbour side 7 km Bay walk around the shores of Iron Cove Bay. Its a pretty popular walking track with views of the city skyline. Seems like a good track to get back into the rhythm and whilst I’m keen, I have teamed up with friends (whoever is willing to compromise sleep ins) to get walking (non dog paced) twice every weekend. It will do us a hell lot of good 🙂
The benefits of walking are widely known, but its worth another share serving as a reminder (mostly for me) courtesy of information from BUPA:
- 15 min a day of brisk walking can have significant health benefits, adding up to three years to life expectancy – and every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise reduced all-cause death rates by a further 4%
- Boost your immunity to limit your odds of catching colds and flu
- Build strong bones to help protect against osteoporosis
- Build strong muscles and support joints to help ease symptoms of arthritis
- Build endurance by boosting your heart and lung’s ability to get oxygen-rich blood to your muscles
- Weight loss: Walking for 30 minutes burns around 440 kJ for a woman (70kg) and 500kJ for a man (85kg)
- Increased life expectancy: Recent studies show an association between walking and a 19%-30% reduction in premature deaths
- Lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer
- Protect against dementia by improving blood flow to the brain
- Reduced symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression
and of course the most important benefit…..
You can consume more Chocolates 🙂