Hiking For Health
After nearly a decade of chronic illness and trying every possible treatment available, no matter how weird or sometimes even dangerous, I think I might have finally found my magic pill: Hiking.
During my makeover, Carol Tuttle asked me if I used to enjoy hiking when I was little. I told her yes, I loved it! She said she believed that beginning to hike again would be therapeutic for me. I took her advice, and I’ve been on five hikes now.
So far, I have explored the Equestrian Park nearby. I was afraid that it wouldn’t have enough variety for me and that the hikes would become boring and repetitive. Boy, was I wrong! I have found many paths criss-crossing through the park and into the wetlands on the other side of the creek. I’ve discovered this beautiful fallen tree stump with roots that look like a giant medallion. I’ve seen wild roses, dried thistle stalks, robins, doves, and mocking birds. I even climbed a tree (which was admittedly ill-advised, but way too fun!)
Many people have asked me if it’s had a positive impact on my health. Well, I’ve noticed a little bit more energy. I’m sleeping well. I recover faster than I had before. My hikes are getting easier to manage.
But all of that is subjective, and I’d convinced myself that I was “getting better” before. Hope does that to you.
Ah, but Fitbit data doesn’t lie!
According to my Fitbit, my activity level from the past 28 days has increased 17% and my heart rate has gone down 14% over the previous 28 days.
I am getting better!
Now, I’m starting from pretty low functionality. Before hiking, 2,000 steps was a big day for me. So, I’m not out running marathons or anything. I expect improvements to continue slowly, but hopefully surely. I don’t know if I’ll ever regain my health completely, but that’s OK. I am living my truth more fully now. I’m doing things that I love. I’m enjoying my life. And that’s a really big deal.
So tell me, what are you doing for fun this summer?