What do you do to keep yourself keepin’ on? It is so easy to say “I am too tired” or “I should really rest.” The fact is walking is a healthy activity for, not only heart patients, but for everyone. We just need to make it fun! It will keep us coming back for more.
My family – my children and grandchildren – keep me going and keep me young. They know there may be moments that I have to stop and rest or I will need to take a nitroglycerin, but they accept it and encourage me to be with them. TEAM SPRINKLES is a perfect example of that!
My daughter announced that she signed me and her family up for the Color Dash. She filled out all the paper work and she ordered me a white shirt to wear, and informed me I could take two friends! (How great is that?!) She declared that we were Team Sprinkles!
“Team Sprinkles” is the team that sprinkles a rainbow of love & happiness wherever they go! All of life should be celebrated with sprinkles — the simple days and the big days, the time with good friends and the time with new acquaintances, celebrations with family and the simple drudgery of everyday.”
This is the perfect 5K run/walk for heart-healthy individuals who are challenged by speedy runners and worried about not being able to “keep-up” with other walkers or runners. When asked if you have to run, the frequently asked questions section responded by saying: “Nope! You can run, walk, dash, crawl or roll. Should you choose to crawl or roll we highly recommend making color-dust-angels!”
We started out and ran into one color explosion after another! Some ended up more “sprinkled” than others!
Team Sprinkles was off and moving through the blue and green and orange! Our team started the race/walk with a clean, white shirt with the intention of having, not only the white shirt, but the entire body, appear like a jar of brightly colored sprinkles at the end. We let the “colors move us.” We were eventually covered in red and orange, yellow and blue, purple and pink and all colors in between!
The “colors” are non-toxic cornstarch dyed various colors ensuring that you, the runner/walker end up looking like that frosted and sprinkled cookie we all love to eat! It is inspirational to know that the proceeds from this walk are donated to programming for the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre. The color dash 5K (3.2 miles) claims to “lift your spirits and color your day!” Our day was definitely “colored!”
A little tip from this old heart is, as you start off for your walk, plug into your favorite inspiring and rhythmic playlist, (That’s “This Old Heart” for me!) and see what happens. I have found that a strong rhythmic beat and the sound of inspirational music quickens my pace and keeps me moving forward.
There are times when you may not finish the entire 5K, but is is events like this that are truly motivational and laughter promoting — increasing those endorphins! The atmosphere is colored cornstarch-filled as well as inspirational. A few of the Team Sprinkle members headed over to a picnic table for a spell too. Those picnic tables and benches are always an option! We had the pleasure of being interviewed by a member of the local UW-Eau Claire Spectator campus newspaper.
The Color Dash 5K was motivational. I got my “steps” in for the day and I recommend it to everyone. I always have another trick up my sleeve to keep me moving though. Do you need more tricks to keep you walking? Try these:
1.) Get a dog! Dogs love to walk and they are “heart-healthy” too. The American Heart Association (AHA) says it’s true. Furthermore, we all know that a dog is a person’s best friend. A press release from the AHA claims: “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.” This reduction in cardiovascular disease could very well be related to dogs urging their owners to go for walks.
2.) Go to the Mall! This is one of my favorite tricks to keep me walking. There is always so much to see — people, new clothing for the upcoming season, and smells of the coffees and aromas of inviting cuisines. Don’t let the fast food get to you. There are always healthy alternatives, if needed. Go try some jeans on (the skinny ones!) or a swim suit and see if you are still hungry!
3.) Spend time with your child or grandchild! Kids have a way of keeping you moving. You can always join a Big Brother-Big Sister group to spend time with kids. You’ll be giving back to your community which is another heart-healthy activity too.
4.) Find a Walking Group! Other people will keep you motivated and moving forward. You will make new friends and have fun.
5.) Hop on a Treadmill! A treadmill always comes in handy when the weather doesn’t enable you to go outdoors. I find I can read and watch television (and listen to iTunes) all at the same time I am walking on a treadmill.
6.) Park a long distance from your destination! This always works well at helping you reach your goal of 10,000 steps. I am always amazed how many “extra” steps I get in tricking myself.
7.) Take the stairs! There are days this may be difficult. Just take it slow and steady. There may be a little “huffing and puffing” involved but it will be worth the effort.
8.) Dance! Dance whenever and wherever you can. Move your body!
9.) Iron and Walk! I get in hundreds of extra miles using this little trick! Much of that has to do with the fact that I have far too much ironing! (Not my favorite chore!) I walk and put away each item of clothing after I finish ironing it. Great idea, huh? (No need to answer that!)
10.) Take short brisk walks! If you have a hard time devoting a large span of time into walking, break it up into small (even 5 or 10 minutes) walks. You’ll be surprised how quickly all those minutes add up.
11.) Read the article: “Exercise Could Help Stroke, Heart Disease Patients Just As Well As Drugs” in the Huffington Posts. The notion that exercise is as good as a medication should spur you up and out of that chair!
12.) Read the article: “Walking Tied to Fewer Breast Cancers in Older Women” that was just released from Reuters. It states that “older women who take regular walks are less likely to get breast cancer than their less-active peers.”
13.) What are you going to do TODAY!? Just move!
All that really matters is that you and the people you love are happy and healthy.
Everything else is just sprinkles on the ice cream sundae.
Make mine a non-fat Greek yogurt sundae with sprinkles, please.
Keep on keepin’ on.
Take care of your heart.
Let me know how you motivate yourself to exercise.