By Kim Egipciaco, Guest Blogger
Why walk? It’s a great question, right? Perhaps the answer is because I can. Or maybe it is because it is literally part of moving forward after something devastating, or amazing, or terrifying. We walk because we have to. We walk because we choose to. We walk because there is no other option.
I know. It’s such a silly question. The answer seems obvious, but for some, it is harder than you think.
Every year since the life-saving surgery that placed a titanium occluder through a small hole in the septum of my heart, I have participated in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Every year. It started when a good friend of mine, April, asked me to be a part of her team since she knew I was a survivor. That first year, I walked for me. I walked with my soul because of my strength. I walked because I could without getting winded. I walked as a cheers to survival. And man, did I walk.
Every year since that first year, I formed my own Heart Walk team made up of friends, family, and coworkers. We walked for those we love, those who passed due to heart disease and stroke, those who were not strong enough to walk themselves.
What seems obvious is that walking is exercise. For many with heart conditions, it is the only way they can get any exercise without stressing their body or becoming increasingly winded. This is the first step in becoming a healthier you. Take a walk! It doesn’t have to be a speed walk like those mall-walkers who pump their arms and practice Lamaze breathing. No, just take a walk to the corner of your street and then back. The next week walk around your block once. The next week, maybe twice, and so on. You will feel empowered. You will feel alive. That is why you walk!
For me, my current obsession is indoor cycling. It really takes the stress off my legs and knees and I can ride in peace listening to the latest top 40 in a dark room where I don’t have to feel like I am being watched. Frankly, the gym was never quite for me. I am also lazy. Oh yeah. Lazy. I hate leaving my house to work out. Once I am home from work, I. AM. HOME. So I turned to intense personal training workout DVDs for my cardio and strength training. I love that I can be done in thirty minutes without ever leaving my living room.
So what is the point of all of this? Why exercise? Well, I counter with why not? Why not walk for your health? Why not walk for peace of mind? Most of all, why not share a memory such as walking with friends and family for a cause that affects each one of us in some way? Walk for hope. Walk for strength. Walk for support. Walk for love. Walk with your heart and for your heart. There is no better reason!
Walk with us! Please visit bergenpassaicheartwalk.org for more information.