A Walk in the Park

I was on vacation this week and had the opportunity to take an extensive walk in our local canal park. Our canal park features Holley Falls, Salt Port pond, a playground, pavilions and grass areas for picnics and sunning. There is also a gazebo that features music on Friday nights in July. I have been in various parts of the park before but I took advantage of my renewing health and walked the major paths in and around the canal park.

The length of the trails that I walked was 3.24 miles. My son tells me that it would be rated a moderate to strenuous hike. Except for a small portion on the actual canal, the rest of the trails are hilly. He belongs to a hiking group and visits various parks and trails in Western NY. I sometimes accompany him as his guest. I am slowly building up my strength and stamina for these adventures.

Exercise is important. Even though my current diet was not purposed for weight loss, I am taking advantage of this wonderful side effect. I find that losing additional weight has been easier when I exercise. There have been occasions where hiking with my son wipes out all the calorie intake I had prior to the hike. This helps to speed up my metabolism, strengthen my muscles and add to my energy.

I am fortunate to live in an area with lots of green space. Not only do we have parks in many of the towns, there are trails that follow abandoned railway lines. These create segmented paths between roads establishing very visible start and end points.

Walking the greenways is a calm and relaxing way to exercise. I enjoy looking at all the different types of plants and trees along the path. The sounds of nature surround you. Whether walking alone or with others, you still get the benefits of the creations that abound. It is nice to feel the breeze when it kicks up as it rustles through the leaves. I may even be fortunate enough to see some wildlife.

So put on your most comfortable shoes and take a walk. It will be good for your health. It doesn’t have to be a long walk. If you are not use to walking, then start slow and work your way up. Walk for 10 minutes and then turn around. Do that for a week, then increase the time to 15 minutes out and 15 back. Before you know it, you will have reached the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by most health practitioners. Even if it isn’t every day, you can work up to that too.

See you on the trails.

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