Not everyone feels safe on two wheels, running is for horses, hockey and cricket involve possible painful contact with some very hard objects, my knees cringe at the thought of bending to play bowls, hitting a golf ball is impossible and clutching an oval ball to my chest whilst 15 beefy men thunder towards me with the sole objective of taking it by force is dreadfully unappealing.
So what’s left in the active portfolio for me? Weekly Pilates is fantastic for core strength but changing my body shape from round to sylph requires some sweat!
Walking it is then. A Sunday morning saunter around Witklip or Klipkoppie dams with a group of doggie friends is probably better for the soul than my thighs but what a joy. There are no finer surroundings in which to have a catch up on all our news and watch their canine furbabies, tails wagging furiously, explore thousands of scents and have a swim no matter the season.
The real heart-rate push is a late afternoon suburban walk with a friend. We klap almost 5kms at a brisk pace and must be getting fitter because we can now talk throughout the entire circuit, a feat impossible at the beginning. Those hills!
Have you ever challenged yourself to walk to the Post Office and check for mail, or pick up a newspaper, rather than drive the paltry 2 or 3 kilometers? Walking is an amazing way to explore your neighbourhood, we miss so much whizzing by at 60kms per hour. Being outdoors on your feet, even following a regular route, reveals seasonal changes (the scent of early Jasmine in August is really cheering, for me it’s the first sign of spring). Child-like joys such as kicking fallen Flamboyant seeds and the magic of walking beneath and through Jacaranda blossoms are heavenly.
Walking has oodles of health benefits, both physical and mental and almost anyone can do it. Don a pair of sturdy shoes, wear a hat, carry some water, grab a friend or your dog or simply enjoy some ‘me’ time alone and tour your suburb and town. You won’t be sorry!