How Power Walking changed my life
10 Safety tips when power walking at night
Terrified at the thought of standing on the scale, it took six months to get the courage to look at the amount of weight I’d rapidly gained after entering menopause. Despite eating better, I had not lost weight. Shocked when I opened my eyes, the number on the scale was almost 22 pounds more than the last time I weighed myself. Dreading the inevitable, I had no choice but to incorporate daily exercise into my life. The days of exercising once or twice a week to lose a couple of pounds were over, no thanks to menopause. The weight I had gained at my waistline was drastic, three inches in less than a year. Looking at myself naked in the mirror, my body had changed from an hourglass to a beach ball. Last year my BMI was a healthy 19, this year I was on the verge of being overweight. It was no longer about looking good, it was now about getting my health back.
Exercise that fits into your lifestyle
My greatest challenge was finding an exercise that would yield weight loss resultsand I would enjoy daily. I was out of shape and no longer wanted to go to my favorite yoga classes. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the class, and I was embarrassed about my weight gain. Depressed that the once simple yoga pose of doing ‘downward dog’ would now inflict injuries as my Jell-O belly slammed into my face, I wanted to find a lifelong exercise choice that I could do whenever I wanted, did not cost money, helped relieve stress, ensured weight loss and kept me healthy.
Living in a scenic area I decided that power walking was my answer. It would give me the chance to get some ‘alone time’, build strength and endurance, allow for flexibility, and give me the opportunity to check out my neighbors latest decorating secrets.
Power walking promised:
• Weight Loss
• More energy
• More strength
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Better sleep, and with terrible night sweats this was important
• Zero cost, with the exception of a good walking shoes
Huffing and puffing for over two weeks, I finally started feeling good about my half hour power walks. I started gradually losing weight and feeling better about myself. Enjoying my walks was good for “my head” and I enjoyed socializing with neighbors as I returned home.
With Daylight savings time ending, coming home from work and power walking before sundown was going to be impossible.
My only option was to start power walking at night. That decision created another set of problems to deal with…safety. Having been attacked in a foreign country at night years ago, I was nervous about walking in the dark.
My fears included being:
Run over by rush hour traffic
10 Safety Tips when Power Walking at Night
1. Don’t go alone bring a buddy or your husband. If you have a dog, take him too!
2. Walk in an area that is populated. Avoid dark, secluded streets. Possible attackers can hide between parked cars or in bushes. That’s what my attacker did – he jumped out from behind a bush. Avoid putting yourself in a position where someone could jump out and surprise you.
3. Do not wear a headset. At night you must use all of your senses. Be observant and alert at all times.
4. Do not pull your hair back in a ponytail. An attacker can grab you by the ponytail, and have full control of your head and body quickly.
5. Bring your cell phone and your driver’s license. Should there be a problem you can call for help. If you got hurt, having your ID can save your life.
6. Tell someone when you are walking at night. Let that person know when you expect to be home and what route you are taking.
7. Don’t wear jewelry; it could attract a possible attack.
8. Walk in areas that are well lighted. If you think you are being followed, change directions and head for safety.
9. Wear reflective discs on your clothing so others can see you. Most walking shoes have reflective material sewn on the shoes. And wear brightly colored clothes, so you can be seen.
10. Walk in the opposite direction of traffic so you can see on-coming cars. Carry a flashlight.
I fought off the attacker without any physical injury, and he was later thrown in jail. I had failed at Tip #1: never go alone. I failed at Tip #2: walk in an area that is populated and avoid areas with bushes. And I failed at Tip #8: walk in an area that is well lit.
I now follow these safety tips and enjoy my night walks with my husband. Power walking changed my life. It gave me freedom, health and self-esteem.
Treat yourself to a great pair of walking shoes, and start enjoying the benefits of power walking.