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  • Writer's pictureDiann Schindler, Ph.D.

Walking: My Kickstart to Recovery

We all have read about the benefits of walking

  • Walking increases cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness

  • It reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke

  • Walking develops stronger bones and improved balance

  • Walking reduces body fat

  • It improves management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes

AND, for me, the most important benefit is that walking decreases muscle pain, stiffness, strength and endurance.

Just this last June, this solo nomad went to Paris and met a group of Amelia Island friends. Yes, I actually engaged in group travel! And note, it’s not that I avoid group travel with friends. Rather, it is highly unusual for me to find friends who want to go to the same place and at the same.

When people asked me why I travel alone, my answer is, “…people have their own lives, their interests in visiting specific countries, and their own timeframe. If I waited for people to go with me, it likely would never happen.”

So, this, indeed, was very special for a few reasons:

I had a great time with my friends. We ate, drank, laughed, and explored. I learned more about them because we were together virtually every minute. And, the best?! I love them even MORE!

It was my second trip to Paris, and I learned so much more about this incredible city.

And, I walked over 98 miles in 8 days! Impressive, but why is this so important?

Let me explain my back story:

While I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand from this last March to May, I suffered from a mystery physical ailment that went undiagnosed for 2 months. Lots of horrible pain, from muscles to joints. I had trouble moving and as a result, my muscles atrophied. I had to get back to the States and get to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

I returned in early June, but my illness still remains somewhat of a mystery. My rheumatologist is leaning toward a virus which is still in my body, even now, 4 months later.

Meanwhile, back to Paris: I was on medication that was pretty successful at reducing inflammation and masking pain. But the WALKING! It’s worth repeating: over 98 miles in 8 days! Every day, I felt better and better. My tight muscles released.

More specifically, my tight hamstrings had caused me to walk with knees bent and butt out! No kidding, just like I had a stick up my butt. So attractive! Walking, and especially walking up hill, changed all that. I actually began walking upright and without stiffness. Pain was less sharp and gradually became minimal. I could move! And, I felt normal again, when there were many times I thought this was how it was going to be for the rest of my life.

Furthermore, this might be too much information…if yes, I apologize: I had 2 – 3 drenching night sweats almost every night. I swear, it was the virus toxins leaving my body...leaving my muscles, after my daily walks.

Honestly, it was like a miracle!

Simple walking.

A kickstart to my path to recovery!

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