Walking Chronicles #1

I don’t know how old I was when I first walked and as both of my parents are dead I can’t ask them; and as it was probably more than sixty years ago it hardly matters that much. Let’s just say that I have been doing it for more than sixty years.

As a teenager I would often walk the three miles to or from school to save my ‘bus fare to spend on something more interesting, perhaps the latest Airfix kit. As a family we would often walk for 5 or ten miles on a Sunday afternoon and towards the end of my schooldays I would think nothing of walking a thirty odd mile round trip on a Saturday. There have been spells since when I have not walked that much, and there have been periods when I have not walked for days other than around the house or too and from my car. However, I do walk regularly whenever I can.

But it might be appropriate here to clear up a couple of points. Firstly this is the first in a series of blog posts about walking as part of a formal fitness regime so it is worth me moving on to the second pint and to define what I mean by walking and so in this context I am going to talk about walking as a deliberate effort to go more than a couple of hundred metres and not just pottering around the house or garden.

As this is the first in a series a little background may be useful. Five weeks ago I was on my way home from a meeting in Paddington and checked my voicemail. There was one message, slightly garbled, from my doctor’s surgery asking me to contact them if possible that afternoon, but telling me that if I couldn’t I should buy some bananas and call in at the surgery on the Monday.

It’s a long story, but for this series the salient points are that I weighed 21 stone (on my scales) or 294 pounds as my American friends would put it. That placed me, at my age, of being at risk of Diabetes and the bananas business was because my potassium levels were low. The latter point is important because it was a contributor to a general level of lethargy that, in turn, left me not wanting to exercise.

I changed my diet with immediate effect and lost four pounds in the first week, but the notion of exercise took a little longer to get focussed, partly because of work commitments that required a couple of long days at my desk preparing for two long days in London, but I decided to take myself out and walk for half a hour or so around the footpaths through the area in which I live.

On that first walk I noticed that on of the cyclists that I encountered was using their mobile ‘phone to monitor their ride and so when I got home I downloaded MapMyWalk and have been using that since to track what I do.

As of last Friday my weight has come down by eleven pounds or five kilos. Over a month that is pleasing as, although I would like to have lost more, I know that a steady loss per week is more sustainable.

Back at the walking I am trying to do around four walks a week, with one a twenty to thirty minute sprint of around two to three kilometres and one walk for an hour or more that will be six kilometres or longer with the other two walks in the four to five kilometre bracket.

In posts here I will share more on these walks in the weeks to come, but you can also see some of them on my Facebook page.

That is it for now, but look out for more pondering on my perambulations in future posts.

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