Anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person. I have tried to be one of those people who goes to bed at 9 p.m. and wakes at 6 a.m. â€“â€“ bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to joyfully greet another day. I wish I could be one of those people who starts each day with exercise, so I can walk into work with my chakras in line, my inner self at peace and my mind cleared of all proverbial clutter. Some days I am actually able to accomplish at least some of these goals. After all, as Benjamin Franklin once said, â€śEarly to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.â€ť More often than not, though, I stay up too late doing â€śone more loadâ€ť of laundry, reading a book or just staring at the ceiling unable to sleep. These nights lead to my complete inability, six hours later, to welcome the sunrise with a smile. My late morning start leads to a shortened trip to the gym â€“â€“ if any at all â€“â€“ and the knowledge that I will be finishing my workout when I get off work. Only a few short days ago this meant a bonus trip to the gym, but now, my favorite option is back in play.
Yes, I am that crazy person who loves daylight savings time.
I know countless people who dread that precious lost hour of sleep, who swear it throws them off for weeks, but I am not among them. I feel a surge of energy knowing the days are going to be longer. I feel I have more time in the day somehow, that still seeing sunlight means Iâ€™m getting bonus hours to get more done.
Among the many things I enjoy in my fictitious bonus hours is walking my dog when I get home from work. Or, even better, waiting for my husband to get home from work at 6:30 and walk our other dog with me. We call it our â€śfamily walk.â€ť
The â€śfamily walkâ€ť is not necessarily the best workout in the world, I wonâ€™t lie. Iâ€™m sure another 30 minutes on the treadmill or the elliptical machine would be much better for my waistline. However, as Iâ€™ve said before, in order to really make the changes necessary for a lifetime of healthy choices, one must experience some rewards.
I am an impatient person, so for me, waiting to see the scale change is not a great source of encouragement to keep me on my path toward better health. I am someone who needs instant gratification from time to time. Thatâ€™s where the â€śfamily walkâ€ť comes in.
Although to someone watching us, our dogs may look as if theyâ€™re actually walking us and not the other way around, the â€śfamily walkâ€ť has become one of the best new habits my husband and I have taken on.
Before I began medication for my blood pressure, I found the quickest way to get that number down was the â€śfamily walk.â€ť It never failed â€”Â my blood pressure was significantly lower when we returned home. Iâ€™m not sure what it is, except the sum of its parts â€” my husband and I get to talk about our day, and we always get a few good laughs out of something one of the dogs does. We feel the sun on our faces; we breathe fresh air, and we take in the beauty around us. A world of stress breaks apart and hits the asphalt like pebbles behind us as we take each step. It is good for my heart, body, mind and soul. Thankfully, itâ€™s that time of year again. Mr. Franklin and I will just have to agree to disagree.
Angie Carnathan is the Lifestyles reporter for Starkville Daily News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.View more articles in: