The secret to long life?

I got some advice from two nonagenarians this week about their secrets to a long life.

Technically my father in law is only 89 1/2, but I say close enough.  And, if you met him you would be shocked that he is that old, he is still in fantastic shape. He had a heart attack 35 years ago, and besides a drastic change in diet and being forced to quit smoking he started a daily regime of walking every day. He used to go out 7 mornings a week, now he has slowed down to only 5 days a week.

My Great Uncle Reuben celebrated his 95th birthday yesterday. He still walks 1 1/2 miles three times a week with a pacemaker and an artificial knee.

Hhmm, they may be on to something. You can do it anywhere, no special equipment is needed (though comfy shoes are a plus), easier on the joints than other forms of exercise, less risk of injury, etc.

M and I used to walk all the time, for several miles a day. I walked all through my pregnancy. As a matter of fact, people used to refer to us as “the walkers” as if that were our last name. After J was born, we put him in the stroller and eventually he would walk right along with us. Well, as much as a toddler/preschooler would walk: run for a block, stop and look at ants, walk backwards a few houses, etc. it became a nightly ritual for us. We haven’t gone out as much the past 6 months or so. Mostly because M has been working at nights and it has been too hot to go.

But, we have been walking to and from school every day. Today, I finally remembered to turn on my Charity Miles app before we headed out. I paused it when we got there, turned it back on when I went home, paused it, turned it on when I walked back to get him, paused it and finally on again for the walk home – total 1.817 miles! Every day. Admittedly, half of that is still slow paced with J, but I was still a bit surprised it was that far. And J is walking half of that, almost a full mile at 5 years old.

I think I will start to add on an extra few blocks every morning after I drop him off or on my way to pick him up to bump it up to 2 miles total a day, and 10 miles for the week and approximately 40 miles a month. That will add up to $10 a month being donated to the charity(ies) of my choice.

Not necessarily world changing in and of itself either fitness wise or charity wise. But, it is a small change that is easy to make and I can stick to. Plus, as Charity Miles says “every mile counts”.

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