Lost in thought, I saw a beautiful cherry blossom tree when I was doing my walk, this week. It cast my mind back to a trip to a fruit farm a few years ago. During the middle of the cherry blossom flowering season April. I remember the scent of the flowers as I walked past the masses of cherry trees. Memories are priceless and mine of the cherry blossom scent and aroma haven’t faded..
Now we are staying home, my one walk a day is more important that ever before.
I have to admit walking is something I hated, as a child. I remember having to go on walks and thinking, how much further, my legs will fall off in a minute!
So, what changed my opinion of walking?
I first started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, about fifteen years ago. I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.
At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.
I find my walk stimulating now; especially on a fine sunny day, it can really lift your mood.
Observing nature and seeing trees come into leaf as spring approaches is really refreshing.
I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on a walk and vary the terrain.
Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.
I have a pair of waterproof walking boots; which are great to wear in heavy rain. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the winter sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks.
I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.
If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to start slowly first. If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercises before you start to warm up the joints.
When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.Start off slowly with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.
For more information about walking and exercise have a look at the NHS Walking guide. Check before setting out the latest update in your area, on staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.