My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Monday, September 13, 2010


to better physical and mental health!

I admit that I never really gave walking too much thought. Maybe, it's because I am a New Yorker, and that's what we do... walk. A lot. I recently read an article in Whole Living magazine (formerly Body and Soul), that got me thinking about walking. It discussed walking from three different angles:
Walking for fitness
Walking for therapy
Walking for meditation
I was so intrigued! Maybe walking's not just a way to get me from home to the subway and vice versa... Maybe there is something more to be gained from putting one foot in front of the other. I set out on a mission to try all three...


The first thing I did was to be more mindful and aware of the walking I was already doing- this seemed like a good place to start,
because like I said... It's A LOT. I implemented the principles I read about walking for fitness into my everyday walking commutes:

-Practicing correct posture with the crown of my head reaching to the sky and shoulder melting down my back and of course my abdominals engaged up and in.
-Keeping my strides short, quick and light, rolling from my outer heel to my big toe (not as easy as it sounds)
-Keeping my elbows bent at a 90 degree angle swinging from the shoulder joint bringing my fist up as high as my chin and back to my hip (I have lovingly named this "Barbie Arms") -And lastly trying to make sure I am at at least 75% of my max heart rate and no slower than 3mph

Now, instead of dreading my walk to the train, or gym, or grocery store, I look forward to it! It's like I get a mini workout without taking any extra time out of my day. It is less of an annoyance if I am getting some physical benefits out of it. PLUS... I have been able to incorporate fitness walking into one on my private clients' routines, by going to the park and coaching her as she walks. She needs more cardio on top of the Pilates, but has a hard time staying motivated and focused, and also has troubles with her knees. Having me there to remind her "how" to walk has been so good for her! She has already made great strides- pun ABSOLUTELY intended! ;)

I have a little bit of experience with this one, because Jay and I like to walk together. We would much rather walk than take a train if we can. We even walked to Manhattan from Queens over the 59th street bridge to avoid the subway. My favorite tradition of ours, is walking around the Jackie O reservoir in Central Park on Thanksgiving Day. It's so beautiful, especially in the fall! Plus we feel better about stuffing ourselves later...
He was the only person I ever really walked this with, so I thought why not try out this therapeutic walking business with some girlfriends. I happen to be going through some pretty big life changes (which I will discuss here when the time is right) and I knew I wasn't alone, so I was hoping I could get some gals on board. I was right! I have had successful walking dates with a couple girlfriends (one of whom is a new mom, so we combined fitness and therapy in one) and plan to have many more! It's a much healthier- not to mention inexpensive- way to hang out with the people I love, than grabbing a drink or eating out. It's also a great way to explore. I found two new places I never even knew existed in Central Park the other day with my girlfriend, Shea: check them out here and here; and I went to Astoria park- which is very close to my house and which I had never been to in over 3 years of living in Queens- with new Mommy, Jen. I highly recommend taking a walk next time you are craving some girl time or spouse time. It's a wonderful way to connect, talk, listen, and burn some calories in the process.

This one has been the hardest for me but I am working on it... I think it's because there are so many distractions here in NYC. Even if I wanted to quiet the gazillion thoughts traveling around in my mind, the fire truck blaring it's siren has other plans for me. I am sure meditating is a lot easier in a place like this:

I think another trick is not having a destination in mind, or a time that you have to be anywhere at least. I do walk by myself a lot, but I am always going somewhere.
I'm going to keep trying to figure this one out, and I'll keep you posted.

I am extremely thankful to Whole Living for opening my eyes to walking, and how much more there is to it than just getting from one place to another. If you are like me, and live in a city that requires you to walk from place to place, I encourage you to cherish that time, and use it to your advantage. If you live in a "car culture", find a trail or path, and a buddy and move those feet! Relish in the fact that your body has the ability to propel you forward- literally and figuratively- and move you where you need/want to go in life.

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