Why so much fuss about power walking?

Six years ago, I retired from my full time nursing career of 40+ years. I was mentally and physically exhausted. As a result, my activity level went from 100 mph to zero in 40 seconds flat and stayed that way for several months while my mind and body recovered.

Even once I started moving again, it was at a snail’s pace, and before I knew it, there was bad news at my annual physical exam. Just over three years ago, my Doc advised me that I was very close to needing both blood pressure and cholesterol meds. I told her that I have a strong aversion to medications of any kind and that I would look after it.

I got the weight watchers app, lost 40 pounds, and took up power walking.

In six months, I had follow up lab work and met with my Doc. She advised me that I had completely smashed my cholesterol level and that I now had the blood pressure of a teenager. My resting heart rate was now 72 bpm, vs the almost tachy 110 bpm it had been 6 months previously.

I had one more health goal in mind. In 2007, after two bone fractures within seven months, I was sent for a bone density test and was diagnosed with moderately severe osteoporosis. After trying several bone mass meds, with no effect, I was started on Actonel 150 mg once per month. I hated taking this medication because of the potential side effects from long term use. I wanted to see if power walking would address the osteoporosis. My research said exercise would help to maintain me but would not reverse the disease process.

I continued power walking faithfully and this spring, when I had my bone density test, the specialist advised me that I was no longer even on the radar for osteoporosis and that if I continued my current lifestyle, I could stop taking the Actonel. I said a big Hallelujah and there has been no turning back.

I no longer have to diet. I eat whatever I want and the weight stays off. I don’t over eat but I don’t deny myself anything. Im a foodie by nature, so this is a most welcome benefit.

Since I’ve started to combine the activity with photography and regular blogging, in addition to the physical benefits, I’m experiencing countless social, emotional, and just overall mental health well-being benefits as well. The joy factor is high.

And that, my friends, is the reason for all of the fuss about power walking.

“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”

Cassandra Clare