The PBC Foundation is the only UK based organisation that specifically deals with PBC.
These Feet Were Made for Walking!!
May 2018 is National Walking Month – ah, further encouragement to practice my favourite slogan for us PBC people, ‘Movement as Medicine’. I was reading up as to why the powers that be were promoting this very powerful and vastly underused method of fitness and I would like to share some of what I read with you. I am sure that you know all of what I am about to write anyway, but I very much benefit from reminders (PBC brain fog) which I'm sure you wish for too.
There is no doubt that walking is a fantastic way of keeping fit – it’s free, and can enhance our physical and mental well-being. We can walk at our own pace to perhaps enjoy time alone (which we all need occasionally) which sometimes, is out with our reach due to work/home commitments and the general busy pace of life. We can walk with a friend(s) passing the time of day solving each other’s and the world’s problems. It’s called having a ‘good blether’ in Scotland which I must admit to being a bit partial to if I were honest! Walking is not just beneficial physically but mentally too. Often issues, problems and troubles don’t seem so bad once out in the open and finding time to think things through. Let’s not forget about the endorphins being released which also give us the ‘feel good’ factor. Walking also gives us more opportunities to come across a friendly face who may be a friend or indeed, a perfect stranger! A smile or a hello is often uplifting! It could be that person also needs a smile from a friendly face!
Apparently twenty minutes walking can burn around one hundred calories which I certainly think is a huge boost to us larger people! As we become older, it is more difficult to shed excess weight and this can be for a number of reasons. Doctors tell us that our whole internal systems do slow down over the years, we tend to eat the same as we did when younger and physically do much less. Of course, medications and a few medical conditions can also contribute to weight issues. One thing I feel – so far I don’t see any disadvantages! Do you agree? Why not make a list of the pros and cons? See what you come up with and I bet you will find more advantages to walking than not!!
Where to walk? Canals, old railway lines, woodland, around the block a few times, strolling around a shopping centre, walking around the shops. Dog walk with a friend if you don’t have one. If none of these appeal and you don’t feel you can find the time, surely getting off the bus, train or tram one or two stops earlier could be achieved? I shall leave it to you to ponder and please contact me if you can add to the so far, small list.
Our volunteer from Solihul, Diane Reeves started a small running group for herself and her neighbours which is very well attended. Running is not in my league but in most towns and cities there are walking groups, so why not think of joining? No groups in your area – easy peasy, start one yourself if you fancy.
In my previous blog, I mentioned that I am on steroids for a while and so need to watch my weight closely. Being almost 62 years on this planet I have the usual aches and pains of PBC and also arthritis so walking has to be my ‘medicine’, treatment, call it what you like. High heels in my bag and what I call my ‘Dolly Dimples’ on my (very large) feet, off I go. My target was ten thousand steps per day as often as possible and I promised myself five days a week minimum. I have now been able to raise that target to fifteen thousand steps a day (saving money on parking) and I am pleased with the benefits that come with my efforts. Better sleep is a huge bonus for me amongst many others. I cannot describe the wonderful sense of achievement I have that I can walk this far – let me be clear, at my pace which differs from day to day. I think if my calculation is correct, this month so far I have walked approximately one hundred miles!! I was staggered when I totted it up!!
Hmm – I have just thought of one wee disadvantage to dog walking – see the photo attached to this blog!! Yes, wee Holly Jones thought she would be happier playing in the mud that walking in the woods! Joy of joys!! She did however, raise a few smiles, laughs and comments on the two mile walk home! Happy days……………………….