I had a patient a while back that was a big fat heart attack waiting to happen. He reminded me a lot of someone I know who lives in my skin, but that’s neither here nor there. I gave him the typical nurse lecture about smoking, eating more vegetables, etc, etc. I also talked to him about one of the best things a person can do for his or her health; taking a simple walk every day. The cross fitters and long distance runners that I see in action ALWAYS look miserable…………the idiots. And I cannot tell you the number of injuries I have seen in people who do the more extreme sports out there. Nothing like a major rush of endorphins from a fractured femur and subdural hematoma to make you feel like you really accomplished something. But my experience with a simple walk outside has always been positive, except that one time a group of geese flew over me and one of them dropped his colon cannonball on my head. I deserved that though, because I had just gotten in an argument with Mrs. Fat Man.
I always feel better physically after a walk, and it lifts my spirits when I feel a little sad, or unproductive. An hour long walk holding hands with Mrs. Fat Man is really an hour of marriage therapy. We don’t have phones or TV’s, or computer screens to distract us, just each other to talk to and focus on for a while. It’s amazing how much communicating can get done in an hour with nothing else to do but communicate. My best talks with my kids have occurred during walks. Eldest daughter Fat Man always wants to go for a walk in her old neighborhood when she comes home from Arizona. Any human relationship will benefit from a nice stroll. And a solo walk is always good too. It helps me cool off when I’m mad, helps me think things through when I got a problem, and helps me to contemplate great truths. I can commune with God and thank Him for His beautiful creation as I am ambling around in it. Try out my new shoes, settle my lunch, get landscaping ideas, check out interesting buildings, breath fresh air, and smell blooming lilac’s and Russian olive tree’s. It exercises my body, is good for my heart, sharpens my mind, gives me more energy, and cleanses my soul. I accomplish all of this and it doesn’t cost me a thing except an hour of my time that I would have wasted watching some mind numbing television program, or swimming in other peoples muck on facebook. So, you can give your therapist a couple of hundred bucks to tell you that you need to communicate better with your spouse, or drive five miles to the gym so that you can run two miles on the treadmill…………………. or you could just take a walk.