Walking for Your Heart
Walking for Cardio-your heart will love you, is easy on the hips and easy on the knees. It’s the best way to stay in great physical and mental shape as you age.
I walk almost every day, and I don’t take the winter months off, like some of my wimpy friends, … just kidding, … they’re not all wimps, only the wimpy ones are. Truth be told, there are times when I enjoy winter walking and hiking even more so than walking and hiking in the warmer months, no mosquitoes, and no, no-see-um black flies.
Walking up the Mountain
On the morning of January 28, 2021, I headed for the Coastal Mountains, to spend a few days in the land of ice and snow.
The moon would be full at 0916h, where I would be spending the night. The weather gods were forecasting clear skies, and I was eager to spend the night under the Full Wolf Moon.
The moon was waning by the time I made it to my campsite, but I was barely able to notice. I was well prepared for the cold, and Mother Nature did not disappoint. Walking up the mountain trails on a sunny winter day is refreshing, to say that least, but when the sun slips behind the mountain ridges, it gets cold fast.
It Gets Dark Early
It gets dark early in January, so I wanted to make camp by early afternoon. Sheltered from the wind, I would spend the night sleepy on the snow, and under the full moon. I set up camp and got my fire started early.
It was the Wolf Full Moon, and with my dinner ready for the grill, and a warm beverage in hand, I was eagerly awaiting the main attraction.
On this wintery evening, the skies were crystal clear, the moon had just broken over the mountain tops, and my fire was beginning its dance for the full moon. As I settled down into my folding chair, there was almost a foot of snow on the ground.
I could hear a pack of coyotes, yapping at the rising moon. I could not tell how many there were, but it sounded like a small pack of 3 or 4. Were they waiting to howl at the moon?
Waiting for the Moon
I had been walking all day in a foot snow, and by late afternoon, when I reached my camp, I was exhausted.
Staring into the dancing flames of my campfire, my thoughts were interrupted by the pack of coyotes. As is on cue, they began howling at the moon.
What was I thinking? What was I doing on a mountain, in a foot of snow, by a roaring fire, listening to a pack of coyotes howling at the moon?
I tell people that I walk for the exercise, but the truth is, that I walk these mountain trails for the peace and quiet. The occasional pack of coyotes that howl at the moon is an added bonus.
What are the Benefits of Walking for Cardio?
Regular Aerobic exercise will bring many benefits into your life.
- strengthen the muscles involved in respiration
- strengthen and enlarge the heart muscle to improve its pumping efficiency
- lower your resting heart rate
- improve your blood circulation
- reduce your blood pressure
- increase the number of red blood cells, and improve oxygen transport
- improve mental health
- reduce stress
- reduce depression
- lower the risk of diabetes
- lower and manage bodyweight
- and the list goes on …
Aerobics, by Kenneth H. Cooper, was my first introduction to the world of cardio and the strong heart and strong lungs revolution. Before Aerobics hit the market, most people exercised to build stronger muscles.
Aerobics quickly became the go-to way to exercise and cardio was introduced to the world.
All these benefits are free of charge when you Walk for Cardio!
The science behind this better blood circulation, and better oxygen transport throughout the body. This benefits your overall health and well being. It has been proven by numerous medical studies, that regular participation in cardiovascular exercise is an efficient method for building a strong heart and strong lungs.
You don’t need to be a scientist to notice the benefits of cardio exercise to your health and general well being.
How Does Walking Fit into this Picture?
Walking is one of the best cardio exercises. There is no complicated or expensive equipment needed, except good footwear and comfortable clothing. Walking is easily paired with all exciting and challenging outdoor activities.
I can understand spending 45 minutes on a stationary bike indoors, on an icy, windblown winter morning, or a morning swim at the local pool, but walking up a mountain to an emerald lake, and looking at the valley below, is a different kettle of fish.
Next time you feel a need to improve your cardio, lose a few pounds, or get into better shape, consider walking as an option. Walking fits well with backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting, and photography.
More Thoughts on Walking
Walking is like a good cup of coffee in the morning. I don’t need a good reason to enjoy the aromas or the scenery. As I age, I become more ruthless with my efforts to simplify my life.
Simple and Safe
Its simplicity and its abundance of health benefits have proven their worth, time and again. An hour of walking goes by quickly on a sunny day. It is not as exhaustive as other cardio exercises, more appropriate for the younger set.
I read all the comments I receive from walkers and adventurers. Regardless of whether you walk for health or adventure, we share the same thoughts.
Walking is the best exercise for the heart.