In September 2018, I decided it was time to shed some extra pounds and to become more fit.

As a retired nurse with 40 years of walking thousands of steps per day, “shutting down” completely after retirement had many detrimental effects to my health and overall fitness. I gained weight, I was lethargic (ok just plain lazy), and I wasn’t feeling well. At a routine physical exam earlier last year, my doc informed me that I was on the fast track to needing both cholesterol and blood pressure meds.

I made my mind up to get busy and do what I could to address these health issues. I also have moderately severe osteoporosis and I knew that my bone density would only be deteriorating more if I kept doing nothing.

I started a weight loss program in September and took up power walking. My new daily diet was all about portion control, had very few refined sugars and no white flour. I started slowly with the power walking and by the time that I could no longer walk outdoors because of the weather, I was up to 1 hour per day, 5 days/wk.

When it got too icy underfoot to walk outdoors, I took out a gym membership and continued the same amount of power walking on a gym treadmill, faithfully, for for the entire winter.

This spring, I resumed walking outdoors and by the time of my follow-up Dr appointment in April, I had lost 30 lbs. My Dr said I had the blood pressure of a teenager, and that I had “completely smashed” (her words) my cholesterol level.

As of this week, I’m down a total of 40 lbs and am in the maintenance phase of  my weight loss journey. I’m still power walking faithfully 5 mornings/week. I’m addicted to it now. I take 2 days off per week to let my body recoup, and even though I don’t enjoy those days off, I know they’re necessary.

Our small Canadian city has many Km of well-maintained hiking/walking trails along the river and the city outskirts. My featured image is from one of those trails. My early morning walks along these trails are the kick-start to my day. 

I’ve completed three 10K power walks since September, with a better overall time on each successive walk.

I’m proud of the fact, that at 65 yrs old, the only medications I’m taking are calcium and multivitamins, along with a once-monthly tablet of Risedronate (for the osteoporosis). I’m hopeful that my next bone density test will allow me to decrease or stop that med as well.

I’m determined to maintain and improve my health status as time goes on. 

I’m looking forward to our first snowbird adventure this coming winter in an active seniors community. It’ll be wonderful being able to fully take part in all of the activities without being winded or unmotivated.

Do activities you’re passionate about – which make your heart and soul feel perky – including things like working out, cooking, painting, writing, yoga, hiking, walking, swimming, being in nature, being around art, or reading inspiring books. Karen Salmansohn