Just Walk

As I get older, I also get wiser.

And one of the wisest things I have ever done is to start walking.

My mother told me that I actually first walked at six months. At nine months I was running rings around my four older brothers. Well, probably not, but you get the picture.

Over the years, I walked less and less, and when I was approaching forty I drove pretty well everywhere.

Then an amazing thing happened. Our daughters’ school was sponsoring a “fun run”, where people who signed up walked around our neighbourhood in routes set out by the school. One route was one mile. Up Isbister Street and down Stradford. One mile. One!

My husband and I and our four girls signed up and started to walk along with scores of other families. And guess what? It was HARD!

Okay, first of all, I didn’t own running shoes and did the walk in strapped sandals. Second, it just seemed so long!

I bought sneakers and we started walking every evening. It felt amazing. Liberating.

Walking has so many benefits.

  • It gives you time to think.
  • It makes you feel young.
  • It improves your mental outlook.
  • It improves your circulation.
  • It improves your appreciation of nature – you notice flowers, signs of spring, autumn leaf changes.
  • You meet and greet neighbours.
  • You find out what the kids in the area are up to.
  • It helps with weight loss and flexibility.

If walk to the store to buy milk. you get the added benefit of weight-bearing exercise which is good for your bones.

If you walk to your favourite coffee shop or fast food restaurant you actually “use your calories before you consume them”.

I am now seventy years old and I walk (or cycle) everywhere. I do 90% of my errands on foot.

In 1997, Bill Bryson wrote a book about walking the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail. Apparently it was or is going to be made into a movie, starring Robert Redford. I just finished reading the book and I highly recommend it. Funny and touching and also inspiring.

But you don’t have to make a commitment to walk 2,000 miles. Just do more than you did yesterday and count the benefits. You won’t be sorry.

A few things can help:

  • A companion. Even Bill Bryson didn’t walk alone.
  • A tracker. A pedometer or even your iPhone can count your steps for you. Work up to 10,000 steps a day.
  • A Fitbit. You wear it on your wrist and in addition to step counting, it calculates heart rate and calories burned.

I notice that when I walk either outside or inside malls in winter (I live in Canada), I usually pass people much younger than I am. It is important to walk quickly to enjoy all of the benefits of walking.

Today I read an article in our local newspaper written by Brynna Leslie called, “Want to live longer? Pick up the pace.” The article quotes research that explains how walking quickly is good for you.

If you can find a copy of this article, read it.

Then go for a walk!

See you on the trail! – Maureen



Is There a Computer in the House?

You remember in the movie, My Fair Lady, when Professor Henry Higgins sings the lyrics, “I’m an ordinary man… But let a woman in the house…”?

I am an ordinary woman and all I want right now is an ordinary computer.  That works.  That does what it is supposed to do.  When I want it to.  Is that too much to ask?

For a while now, I have been considering buying a tablet.  Which one should I get?  Which Mega Super Buy Computers, Phones, PDAs, Netbooks, Notebooks, eReaders Store has the best price?

What will I use it for?  Email?  Taking photos?  Playing games?  Writing?  Computing?  Searching the Internet?  Buying and reading books?

I recently got together with my three sisters and a couple of their husbands and almost all of them had a tablet.  iPad or Android?  After a few hours of playing games, looking at photos, watching them download movies and TV shows, I decided on an iPad.  I already have an iPhone so it should be easy to sync everything and get started.  Right?  Yeah, right!

A couple of days later, I saw a great price for an iPad 2, and bought one.  Oh the frustrations!  The hassles, the troubles, the heart palpitations, the rising blood pressure.  After two or three hours of trying to sync the flippin’ thing, we (my husband the engineer and I) had to go for a walk on the trail to calm ourselves down.

It has been a week since I bought it and so far, I have my music and photos all synced (4 or 5 hours) and I can now receive email but can’t send email (2 or 3 hours).  When I try to find free movies and TV shows, all I can find are ones to buy or rent.  My sisters say to just find it but I flippin’ well can’t!  I can’t even reply to my email on the %^&^* device!

Let a computer in the house…  What is wrong with the world of electronics and technology when the companies that make the machines have different operating systems and different cables, plugs, charging devices, carrying cases, protective cases, apps, and for all I know personal philosophies and political beliefs?

I can’t send email.

Apparently my password, which works on all my other computers, netbook,eReaders, iPhone and even the iPad to receive email is wrong when it comes to sending email.

Is there a computer anywhere that works?  When you want it to? To do what you want it to?  The first time?  Every time?  I thought not.

Today when I turned on my Netbook to write this post, I got an error message.  Windows failed to start.  Apparently new software or hardware has been added to your device and that may be the problem.  No it is NOT the problem!  No software was added.  No hardware was added. The problem is with YOU, mega-international-wealthy beyond belief-corporation.

I’m thinking of taking some hardware, like a hammer or chisel, and teaching you a lesson you’ll never forget but it wouldn’t get through to you, because I can’t send email!!!