Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walking and Pondering

About two months ago I found out my younger sister has diabetes. I'm the second oldest in age (of the living siblings). Our youngest sister also has diabetes. My mom had diabetes before she died. And her sister, my Aunt, has diabetes. That is a lot of diabetes running through our family!

On Today's Dietitian I read:
Exercise is an effective tool for preventing type 2 diabetes and potential diabetic complications. Additionally, exercise promotes weight loss and maintenance, helps with stress management, and sensitizes muscle and hepatic cells to facilitate glucose uptake and increase insulin sensitivity. Americans can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% by eating healthfully and exercising at moderate intensity for 30 minutes each day. Likewise, calorie restriction can reduce body weight by 5% to 7%, yielding a 60% risk reduction.

I decided I needed more exercise anyway, I should find a way to make time to walk. I found that I can walk 5 evenings a week. Two nights a week I work too late into the evening to walk.

I love walking in the evening. I like it better than walking in the morning. There is peace and quiet in the evening stillness. In the morning there are walkers and joggers, people with strollers and ear-buds, and neighbors walking together.

In the evening, there is no one to walk with or talk to but God.

Although He listens all the time, I think I listen to Him best in the quiet and stillness of the evening.

In the evening there are the stars in the open sky. Sometimes the moon is out and there is a silver gilding on all the trees. I can smell the blossoms on the trees so strongly in the evening air. It seems as if His spirit is everywhere reminding me of how much he loves all of his children. He provides such beauty for all of us.

I love listening to the cooing doves along our street. Down around the corner there are homes with 'water features' that bubble happily, singing an evening song. No real streams bubble happily close by home in the desert.

In the evening I have a chance to reflect on the day and the choices I've made. Can I do better tomorrow? Can I draw closer to my Heavenly Father tomorrow? Can I ease someone's burden better tomorrow? Maybe. As I walk I think of the people in my life and say a prayer for each of them. People I know well, and people I only know as acquaintances, family members, and members of my church.

My walk usually lasts about 35-45 minutes, about 5,000 steps, close to 2 1/2 miles. That is plenty of time to think, to meditate, to pray, to think of God and the many blessings He has given me. Sometimes I walk a little longer, sometimes a little less.

Walking started out as a way to prevent diabetes and to be healthy, but it has brought better health to my soul as well as to my body.

The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose. ~Charles Dickens

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