September 2007 calendar Stamina, heart-and-lung-capacity, fitness, muscle strength, endurance… it all sounds so very sweaty and athletic!

Endurance walking — going for distance, not speed or intensity — is on the program for today. Sometimes it feels like this just isn’t working hard enough, to be walking at a comfortable pace… but this is the kind of exercise we need to build up the body’s core strength and fitness function.

Stamina is what gives you the muscles to tote a toddler up 7 flights of stairs, or to play a fast-paced game of soccer with a teen. It’s what keeps us healthy and younger in body and spirit — and bonus! A strong body will automatically burn off more calories, more easily, even when you’re not actively exercising!

Day 13:
5 minute warm-up
35-50 minutes walk at level 6
5 minute cool-down

There’s another bonus, too.

Going for a good long walk is a terrific way to unwind after a stressful day.

Sometimes I put on my headphones and stride out to classic rock; and other days I walk in the fields and woods, leave the music at home, and just pay attention to the sounds of nature around me. Every so often, a few of us iwill get together on the lunch hour and go for a walk as a group, to catch up on the news and gossip.

Do you have days when you feel like you really just can’t spare the time to take a walk? I most certainly do — and and those are the kind of stressed-out days when a walk would do the most good!

C’mon now, I talk to myself sternly — will the world grind to a halt if I take 45 minutes to walk? Do I really think I’m so all-fired important as that?

If I really feel guilty about taking a little time to improve my health (!!) I’ll sometimes load up my el-cheapo mp3 player with all those podcasts and motivational programs I keep meaning to get around to hearing…. doing two things at once isn’t an ideal way to unwind, but it does help to get me out walking on those days when I might be tempted to think that I’m just too busy.

Read the whole 4-Week Walk series!

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