Overweight, tired nearly all of the time, and pains in my legs after short periods of exertion; brought on by too many years of smoking, eating too much, little or no exercise, and most of all sat down at a desk for long periods of time during the working week, I was seriously unfit. My appearance in some photographs of me taken mid year (2014) had also started to bother me a little too! At 51 it was now time to do something about it.
Several years ago, about 10 actually, before I took to canoeing, my outdoors interest centred around walking and hiking with some mountain biking thrown into the mix. But once the interest in canoeing started the boots and bike were replaced with boats and paddles! But the style of canoeing that appealed to me does not lend itself to to fitness building and weight loss. After selling the bike to help fund my first new canoe, I think is when the rot really started to creep in.
Fast forward to mid 2014, and the scales registering a whopping 19¾ stone I had to do something! But what? I am not a gym person and I am not a one night a week at the squash court fan either. No, I turn to the one form of exercise that I know works tremendously well and is completely free; walking! It’s an old friend really having spent a number of years walking the hills and trails close to my home in Derbyshire. But this couldn’t just be a once a week affair, one walk at the weekend no matter how far was not going to achieve much, not in the short term anyway!
No; it was time to get up early, around 6.00am, and punch in a few miles before work, every day. This I have done now since August, and missing only one day here and there. I started with a 3.5 mile loop in the months when it was light at that time only recently reducing the distance to 2.5 miles because of the dark and cold. And they are not strolling type walks either, effort has to be made physically to have any benefit, so I push myself quite a bit!
Fast forward to the present day just leading up to Christmas 2014 and the scales are currently hovering at 17¼ stone, and I have lost some four inches of girth. And do I feel better for it? You’re not kiddin! Although I have not managed to quit the smoking (maybe a new years resolution) I feel so much fitter, certainly less breathless, and a lot less tired all the time!
I sort of knew though that once I’d started walking again that I would want to return to a pastime that I had long since shelved and take on some longer and more challenging walks, and throwing one in there every other weekend or so would go a little further in my quest to Walk to Fitness.
Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.