Stay Healthy By Walking More And Driving Less

Stay healthy by doing something enjoyable, such as taking a walk at sunset.
Stay healthy by doing something enjoyable, such as taking a walk at sunset.

Walking Is Healthy

Stay healthy by walking more and driving less. Americans have a love affair with their cars, but every time I go somewhere I hear many people moaning and groaning about having to walk across the parking lot! Recently I have lost weight by walking more, so I consider movement to be a good thing. Granted I really do not drive and prefer to walk and take the bus to work, but walking has helped to ensure I stay healthy. Walking is a great cardio work out that burns calories without setting draining the pocketbook as with a gym membership. When I am walking somewhere I always like to make it a competition by seeing how fast I can get to my location, and after walking for so many years I have become very fast. Even people who have not walked very much in their lives can master the art of walking because it is free and easy. Also, I think it is good for us to appreciate our two walking legs and use them because there are many people who are paralyzed, and do not have the luxury of being able to walk. For a week try to stay healthy by walking more and driving less, but only if you want too. At least try to take the stairs, or go for a walk after work. Incorporate walking throughout your day and aim for an hour of walking time. When you take the stairs, walk home from work one day a week, walk after work, or walk on the weekends, all of this exercise will add up to many miles of heart healthy walking.

Walking Burns Calories

As a college student I was on the anorexic side and barely ate anything because I was very obsessed with the number on the scale. Eventually after college I gained weight and grew into normal eating habits, but unlike other people who have a high metabolism I did not burn off calories easily. I walk everywhere or take the bus as I have never enjoyed driving, and most people would be much smaller than I am if they walked as much as I do. Six years ago I became obsessed with becoming skinny again, so I started running thirty plus miles per week and doing taebo. I was so obsessed with being able to eat whatever I wanted while maintaining slim figure, and this truly became my obsession. In 2004 I started experiencing pain during my runs, and after several visits with two doctors who really did not help me, I finally found one who informed me I had sciatica. He basically said I would be in much less pain if I stopped running for good, so that is what I have decided to do. I still bend over and lift things when I need to, but I minimize it and try not to strain my back when possible.

I hate that I had to stop running because I was no longer able to be skinny easily, but at the same time I enjoy food and do not want to starve myself to look that way either. The reason I put weight back on when I stopped running was because I can run very fast and covered more ground than when I walk. Do not get me wrong I am a fast walker, but I was addicted to the endorphins of a good run and it also bribed me to keep going. Although I enjoy a three or four mile walk, I really am not up for walking the twelve miles I used to run, thus the weight gain. In college I had tried dieting, but I decided that was not for me. These days I eat a relatively healthy diet that consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, carbs, lean proteins (beans, soy, turkey, and fish), and yes I do have a bad sweet tooth. I have never drank or smoked, but ironically I have seen many people who abuse their bodies never come down with lung cancer, but health nuts that have heart attacks. In the end I feel moderation is okay as long as you are not smoking, and if you drink cut it down to a few a week. Sweets are my vice and if it were not for my sweet tooth I would would weigh twenty pounds less than I do today, but I have come to the realization I am very healthy because I can walk fast and do things faster than many skinny people around me. Also, I have low blood pressure and my doctors are always amazed by my relative good health. Often I will run up the stairs and leave behind a group of people who are huffing and puffing their way to the top, but I can assure you some of them are much thinner than I am. Has anyone ever heard of skinny fat? A skinny fat person is someone who looks thin, but often they do not eat a balanced diet or exercise properly. Thus, it is much better to get on a good nutritional and exercise plan than to strive for anorexia by only a tiny bit each day. Anorexia is a very serious health issue, and if you suspect you are anorexic you should consult with your doctor what options are open for you. However, most people are not anorexic and actually struggle with trying to eat right, eat less, and burn more calories. I have been there and will never go there again. Nevertheless, I try to follow sound advice such as given on the Mayo Clinic website.

Walking Is Free

I had several friends who tried to convince me to buy gym memberships, but I am very cheap and cannot see paying for something I can do for free. Running is free, taebo DVD's are cheaper than the gym, and walking is definitely free. Once I was able to set myself free of the trap of weight a certain number I was liberated. I am set on losing twenty pounds that I gained over the last two years, but I know this will happen once I cut soda and sweets out. I have the strenght to do this, and the HubMob has given me the chance to do some introspective thinking and realize I do not need sweet. I know how to lose weight because I have done it in the past. I know how to eat right because I pretty much do, albeit I eat a few too many sweets. I no longer aspire to look like other people, an impossible goal, but I walk as much as possible to stay healthy for me. I will never pay for a gym membership because I can do many of these things for free. Also, I love to walk and listen to the birds chirping, see the blue sky, and look at the trees, and I just cannot do any of those things at a gym.

Do You Think People Are Getting A Work Out By Driving On The Freeway? The Answer Is No And Maybe They Should Consider Walking A Little Bit More Each Day

Where Can I Go Walking?

On a daily basis you could try walking to work once a week. I live three miles from work so I do not walk to work, but I do walk home on days the bus runs once an hour. I love the vigorous feeling of walking on a warm summer day, but I truly love the heat and Southern California is my friend in the summer time. Although most people probably could not handle the heat of summer when it comes to walking, now that it is getting cooler in the northern hemisphere there is less of an excuse not to walk. If it is manageable try walking to work for a week, or try walking home from work at least one day this week. I like to walk the three miles home from work at least twice a week, and it takes less than an hour. However, if you like to run it the miles can go by even faster than this. If walking to and from work is impossible, try to incorporate more walking into your daily activities. For example, stop circling the parking lot looking for the perfect front space and actually park in the back! This sounds heinous to those who love to moan and groan about walking a few tiny feet, but those steps add up in the end. It takes 5,208 ft to walk a mile, so each of these steps add and up, but you need to start stepping for these to count. Also, you could try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even walking for fifteen minutes during your lunch break like I do. I love the Southern California heat, so when I am inside an air conditioned building I look forward to my escape and being able to spend my break walking in the heat. Also, the air conditioning is more motivation for me to stay active and get up and walk around as much as possible. Do you want to find out how many calories you are burning during each work out? If so, this handy little calorie burning calculator will hit the spot!

Go walking on the Indian Rock Trail and see this plaque at the Indian Rock Camp.
Go walking on the Indian Rock Trail and see this plaque at the Indian Rock Camp.

Where Should I Go Hiking?

So where would you like to go walking on the weekends. If you live in Southern California I recommend going up to the San Bernardino Mountains for a hike. There are many types of hikes that range from easy jaunts to more difficult treks. The Indian Rock Trail is barely a mile and a nice stroll with slight up and downhill inclines. I used to go running out to the Indian Rock Camp Trail on a daily basis when I lived up in the San Bernardino Mountains, so it is a definite must see if you are in the area. The wonderful thing about the end of this trail is that you can look at the wonderful metate rocks, which comes from the Spanish word for a large rock to grind on. The Serrano Indians used to grind acorns into meal on these rocks, and the impressions left by their mortars can still be seen today. I used to run/walk out to the metate rock and run my hand over the deep holes left by the mortars, and it helped me to feel a connection with the people who ground the acorns there so many years earlier. Of course my long runs/walks out to this isolated region ended when bear ran right in front of me and I ended up flagging down a passing sheriff to give me a ride home. I used to love my runs/walks, out to Indian Rock Camp to visit the metate rocks, but the bear made me reconsider these solitary jaunts.

The metate rocks where the Indian women used to grind corn.  You can only see if these beautiful rocks if you go on a hike on the Indian Rock Trail.  Hiking is good for the heart.
The metate rocks where the Indian women used to grind corn. You can only see if these beautiful rocks if you go on a hike on the Indian Rock Trail. Hiking is good for the heart.

Another wonderful hike is the Pinnacles Trail, which is much more difficult with its upheld steep upheld inclines. However, this trail is much easier than it was when I was very little because the Sierra Club went through and put in a a more navigable trail. Before this the hike amount to navigating around large rocks, but these are such beautiful rock formation and worth seeing at least once. Also, hiking uphill is a very good work out and you can burn quite a bit of calories doing this. The amount of calories varies per person, but you can use the calorie burning calculator above to determine approximately how many calories will be consumed. The Pinnacles Trail is approximately three and half miles, so this steep incline makes for a great work out on the way up. Once you get to the top you can see all the way down to Lake Silverwood below and in the distance one can see "Mount Baldy" in the San Antonio Mountains, which is named because there are very few trees growing at it higher altitudes. Hiking is well worth the exercise, and a great way to get out of your car for a change. Of course I would encourage you to drive up to Lake Arrowhead so you can try these beautiful trails, but make sure to get out of the car once you get there. Walking more and driving less is a great way to get a work out and burn some calories.

From the top of the Pinancles Trail looking down on Lake Silverwood below and "Mount Baldy" in the distance.  This hike is worth the view.  This picture was taken in 1988, but it is still a beautiful view today.
From the top of the Pinancles Trail looking down on Lake Silverwood below and "Mount Baldy" in the distance. This hike is worth the view. This picture was taken in 1988, but it is still a beautiful view today.
Pretending to hold up one of the big rocks out on the Pinancles Trail, seven miles north of Lake Arrowhead.
Pretending to hold up one of the big rocks out on the Pinancles Trail, seven miles north of Lake Arrowhead.

To Walk Or Not To Walk

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Comments 35 comments

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I love the photographs. I'd love the chance to go hiking in some of those places. Well done!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Sweetie, you're preaching to the "Walker Choir."


Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Watch out for that ROCK!!!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Uninvited Writer,

If you are ever in the Southern California region you should check out the hiking up in Lake Arrowhead. I am sure you have some great hiking trails up there in Canada too. Thanks for commenting.

Constant Walker,

I knew you would get what I meant, especially since you are the Constant Walker. Thanks for you comments.

Ryan,

Yes the rocks are very big and look like they will fall. It is fun to go hiking up there just to look at the rocks if not anything else. Thanks for the comments.


PLM profile image

PLM 8 years ago

Don't forget Wrightwood Sweetie P!

That's my neck of the woods and if you're going to suggest arrowhead you gotta also check out devils backbone, devils punchbowl, and the blue ridge trail... For advanced hikers there is lightening ridge and baden powel as well.

Dig ya

Priest


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

PLM,

Wrightwood is great, but unfortunately I have never been there so I did not feel I good write well about that.  I used to go hiking on the back side of the mountain near Highway 173 for the most part.  We used to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, Indian Rock Trail, and the Pinnacles Trail for the most part, so these are the places I was familiar with and shared.  Perhaps you could write a hub about some of the other hiking locations in Southern California.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

I like to walk, too :)

But may I still drive as much as I like, pleeeeease? ;)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Do not worry, you can drive all you like :).  Really this was just my attempt at coming up for a topic on health :).


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Keep walking - it's the natural way to travel.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Great Hub in the Hubmob tradition. I enjoyed this one and can relate to it. But after a 15 year gap (all the same issues) I am running again.


Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

Thumbs up. I love to walk. It is free and I am cheap. Besides, I walk with my Sweetie. She had a serious back injury a while back and our walks were more like a very slow stroll. In the last couple months she started a healthy weight loss program and has picked up the pace. Her goal is 10,000 steps per day and she usually makes it with me by her side. I now call it a speed stroll. This has been very good for me too  because I started putting on weight (Ha!) since I retired and doing some writing so it has been free help for us both. Good hub. ~ eddie


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Paraglider,

Very true walking is the natural way :). Thanks for commenting.

Sixtyorso,

It is wonderful to hear you are able to run again after fifteen years. I am hoping one day I can run again to. thanks for the comments.

Eddie,

I am glad to hear that you and your wife enjoy walking. Retirement sounds like a great thing because now you can focus on your writing. Thanks for stopping by.


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 8 years ago from London

I love walking too. It is free, and it makes you feel free!

I enjoyed your inspiring hub and beautiful photos too.


SirDent 8 years ago

Maybe if I walked a lot more my furniture disease would ease up quite a bit. Great hub and very well w ritten as always.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Sirdent,

You are always my knight in shining armor with your very galant comments :).

Moon Daisy,

Thanks for the nice comments.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

I think you covered every square inch about walking. I love walking too and you gave me more to expand upon. I loved the addition of hiking and the beautiful photographs. thanks and thumbs up.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Dottie1,

I appreciate your comments.


weblog profile image

weblog 8 years ago from 1India

I'm only a bicycle rider! But, still I love walking. Many like me spend lot of time in simply sitting for PC or TV. We definitely need to walk more.

Walking Is Free - Oh yes, I loved that paragraph very much. Birds chirping...great hub as usual :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I love walking too. Lately, dayzeebee and I are biking though. Just for a change. :) Great hub!


SirDent 8 years ago

I linked this hub to the hub I wrote about my illness as a way of not getting that particular illness.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

Walking is a great way to get around.


weblog profile image

weblog 8 years ago from 1India

Sent email to you :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

weblog,

Bicycle rider is good exercise and I will look at your email as soon as I get a chance :). Thanks for emailing me back.

Ripplemaker,

You are so lucky to have dayzeebee as a friend here at Hubpages you see in real life. I envy you :). Thanks for commenting.

Thanks for linking to my hub sirdent, I shall be dong the same for you.

Bob Wing,

Walking is wonderful indeed. Thanks for the comments.


stevemark122000 profile image

stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

Thanks for this thoughtful hub! Walking more and driving less is a great idea. I try to remember to walk my dog whenever going to the post office or bank. Driving everywhere is just another one of those bad habits that needs some persistent effort to be broken.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for commenting steve. Walking the dog is very good exercise and I used to do that so much!


sheryl c profile image

sheryl c 8 years ago from canton ohio

Thanks SweetiePie that was a great hub walking is great exercise I walk our walking trail at park it is a mile around about three times a week great for the legs keeps them solid Thanks again Sherylc


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for visting and commenting Sheryl.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

GREAT HUB!!!! And yes I do walk 3 times a week!!!


Siew Cheng 6 years ago

I love to take long walks too! I love to walk round the lake, and listen to the noisy birds.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Walking is great. Thanks for commenting drpastorcarlotta and Siew Cheng!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Good reminder! I'm up and going, and thanks to you, I'm going to plan a walking trip with my camera. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for commenting RTalloni!


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

I go on many walks around our town and neighborhood with our dogs and my Mother too. We have good times on these walks, and always feel better for having done them too.


passionate77 profile image

passionate77 3 years ago

very nice and wonderful hub about walking , i love walking and always love to read more about its health benefits, blessings for sharing!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I appreciate all the comments. Walking is great.

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