I was most inter­est­ed to read recent­ly about a study on the val­ue of exer­cise and pos­si­ble increas­es in brainpower.

That’s real­ly a ‘duh’ moment! 

Not just because of the brain­pow­er issue but because exer­cise seems to be the first line of defense for near­ly every con­di­tion imaginable. 

Even para­plegics ben­e­fit from exercise. 

Obvi­ous­ly any­one who has a replace­ment hip, knee, shoul­der joint receives ‘therapy’, which is super­vised exercise!

Phys­i­cal Ther­a­pists over­see your exer­cis­es and then give the patient exer­cis­es to do at home. But who does them? I believe Phys­i­cal Ther­a­pists are some of the mir­a­cle work­ers in mod­ern medicine.

Mas­sage ther­a­py is rec­om­mend­ed for all ages – it’s a pas­sive way for mus­cles and lig­a­ments to be loos­ened – it’s exercise! 

Now if mas­sage ther­a­py is also suit­able for infants and chil­dren and walk­ing and oth­er exer­cise is good for those hav­ing joint replace­ment or with dia­betes and – fol­low my thoughts here – our chil­dren aren’t exer­cis­ing enough because they don’t have the oppor­tu­ni­ty and they eat junk food too – why then wouldn’t it be impor­tant to have our tod­dlers start walk­ing out­side as much as pos­si­ble at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble age?

The gait of many chil­dren with devel­op­men­tal delays is often quite marked­ly awk­ward – could it be it’s because they only walked around their hous­es and nev­er had a chance to devel­op good walk­ing pos­ture and stamina?

Have you ever seen adults with strange walks? Some men have quite an effem­i­nate walk even though they are het­ero­sex­u­al. What is it that devel­ops our walk­ing stance – does it start very ear­ly, as with so many oth­er aspects of our development?

Do fear­ful par­ents cre­ate chil­dren who don’t walk well or with an inap­pro­pri­ate gait? 

“I’m afraid of the traffic” 

“I can’t take both my chil­dren for a walk at the same time” 

“I’m con­cerned about the germs en route to the park and even more con­cerned about the germs on the play­ground equipment”

All these com­ments have been made to me by edu­cat­ed par­ents – by edu­cat­ed I mean with a Bach­e­lors degree or a Masters.

Is this the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion to grow up with walk­ers, activ­i­ty cen­ters and work­ing moth­ers? Do those chil­dren need to be ‘anchored’ in one place for the mother’s/caregiver’s convenience?

It just seems that in my expe­ri­ence those fam­i­lies with devel­op­men­tal­ly delayed chil­dren are also the least like­ly to take walks with their children.

Walk­ing is the cheap­est, eas­i­est, most basic means of fitness.

My grand­moth­er walked every­where and lived to be 92. My friend Rose walked a mile or so to the store when she was in her mid-90’s. My moth­er at 88 now walks every­where cov­er­ing about 10 miles a week on average!

Walk­ing loosens all the joints. Very often those who car­ry the most weight also walk the least and end up need­ing surgery on their joints – the extra weight also increas­es their risk of com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing surgery.

When my hus­band went in for emer­gency surgery in 1999 his ini­tial med­ical report described him as a “56 year old obese male”. He was hor­ri­fied to read that and has worked for near­ly 8 years to get his fit­ness lev­el back to where it was in his mid-30’s. He’s near­ly there! 

We cred­it his recov­ery to the years he spent either bicy­cling, or walk­ing with our sons in a back­pack plus the num­ber one rea­son – he’s not a smoker!!

But his core body fit­ness was the over­rid­ing fac­tor in his recov­ery. That gave him men­tal fit­ness and stamina.

Fit­ness is all for all ages – let’s start walking!