On dry lips.
I was recently diagnosed with diabetes. One of the things I have to do to keep it under control is walk for half an hour day. I’ve not been much of a walker for years and so this is a bit of a challenge for me! My friend and fellow Leeds Wellbeing Webber Su is a big fan of walking, so I interviewed her about this. We sat outside the Abbey Inn pub that borders Horsforth and Bramley and took some photos of the area.
I do struggle with motivation. Sometimes arranging to go with someone else is enough to focus on doing it, or convincing myself that I’m really not fit and listening to my body. I need to just get on and do it and dedicate myself to it. A practical thing I do is to write a large memo as a prompt and place it somewhere prominent as a reminder that I want to get out of the house and walk.
People often say walking is the best exercise and can raise your mood. What is your experience of this?
I think that is absolutely true. And there are benefits to walking with other people, for companionship and safety. I did have a time where I dedicated myself to doing it everyday. I’d do it without headphones and music, take a notebook because solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable would kind of float to the surface as you’re walking. Kind of like meditation. If you’re doing it by yourself, you can enter into that state.
Where and when do you like to walk?
Because there isn’t always someone to go with, it has to be local. That’s Leeds 13, Bramley. When I’ve felt fitter, I have walked from Bramley to Horsforth, across the boundary, the river and canal. That’s a nice long walk. I like Bramley Fall Woods and Bramley park. There is a fabulous view from there. I like Half Mile Lane, which borders Bramley and Farsley. Going further afield, Roundhay Park and Woodhouse Moor are pleasant. I attend Leeds University and the campus is an enjoyable place to walk, it includes Saint George’s field.
Have you always enjoyed walking?
Yes it was very much part of my upbringing. We always walked to school, I walked at least four miles a day, to and from Primary School. I always walked to work. But I’m not a hiker or country rambler, I find that hard nowadays. I walk to the shops and town. I keep in mind it should be a daily activity.
To summarise then, motivation can be improved by having a walking companion, using prompts to focus, walking can help you to think more clearly and gain insight into any problems, Walking is an opportunity to enjoy nature and it’s scenery, it is the best exercise and helps raise your mood.
Another day, another rummage down the back of the benefits sofa to find a spare £12bn. This week: changing Employment Support Allowance to incentivise ill people to get back to work.
One problem: I already have the best incentive to stop being ill and get back to work. It’s called “being ill”.
I would love to go back to work because if I were able to work, I would no longer be sick. Long-term illness nibbles away at your identity from the edges, taking out chunks of the things that make you you: the friends you meet, the shops you wander into, the job you do. I would love to work, if only because it would give me something to use in small talk, a context in which to place myself, the grit around which an imperfect pearl of who I am can begin to re-form.
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Mary’s message today deals with connecting with Nature. When you are in Nature really appreciate the things around you. Don’t just walk on a trail but really connect to the sights, the sounds, the smells as you walk. You are an invited guest into someone else’s home. Use that visit to really connect with Nature and appreciate all it has to offer.
And this is According To Mary!
Mary’s message today is pretty simple she wants everyone to take up a musical instrument. She wants you to know you would enjoy instrument playing. Music puts us in a higher vibration and playing one is so much fun! I luckily was exposed to the piano at early age by my mother and a music system at school before budget cutbacks so I had so many options growing up. I rarely refused any chance to learn a new instrument or sing in a choir. I loved learning them and singing so much. I had a difficult childhood and I didn’t know it at the time they helped me stay positive. I have loved playing music and singing over the years. I am now teaching Scott to play an instrument for his 50th birthday. He cannot believe how much fun it is too. You forget your problems of the day…
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Hello. I wrote the original version of this to go to some music. I don’t think the recording will still be around and I can’t remember how the music went. Never mind! Here is the poem.
Sun rises over the earth
Life sprouts forth
Sun showers gifts to all.
Clouds give way
Blue skies of
Shiny globes of joy
Winking in golden haze.
By Daniel Tavet