Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Along with running, lifting weights, yoga, kick boxing, and bike riding, walking is one of the activities that comprise our [that being me and the wife] workout regimen, our way of staying physically fit. Our walks typically mean walking the dogs. While we have gone hiking on multiple occasions in the past, it is not something that was part of our regular regimen. Recently we decided to change that. The benefits of walking?

There are quite a few, but my top three are low impact, improvement to metabolic rate, and improved blood flow.

Perhaps the most significant reason we have turned to walking more is because this low to moderate impact activity is easier on the joints and bones – your hips and knees being the primary beneficiaries – than higher impact activities such as running.

Hamburg Trail - Spring Stream

Walking helps to increase your resting metabolic rate. This helps to burn off extra calories and increases your metabolism which means you will burn more calories whatever activity you’re engaged in.

The circulatory system is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to your cells and is used to filter out waste and carbon dioxide from your body. A good walk improves blood flow which helps the body function better. Also, they say a good walk after eating is a great way to improve digestion.

Our first hike as part of the new regimen took place not too long ago, right in our own backyard. Southeastern Arizona sits at an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. It’s a beautiful area. Within this unique geographic area lies the Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Although located in the desert Southwest, its northeast orientation, high canyon walls, and spring-fed stream provide Ramsey Canyon with a moist, cool environment that is perfect for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. On a recent Sunday morning, the wife and I, along with a friend, took advantage of one of the trails, the Hamburg Trail, leading out of the Preserve.

A photo posted by James Molet (@retirementsavvy) on

Soon after hitting the trail, we gained elevation quickly via a quick series of switchbacks. The trail wound around for a little while before leveling out and dropping down to the canyon wash. On the day we hiked, there was plenty of running water. Really a treat for all the senses. Check out the short video … .

A video posted by James Molet (@retirementsavvy) on

Seven miles and four hours later our Sunday morning journey was over. The walk and the fresh air felt great. Stay fit, my friends!

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

20 Comments

  1. Wow James – really nice job with all that exercising. At most we do an hour – an hour and a half walk. If you count your steps I bet you destroyed your average daily number..

    Tristan

    • Thanks, my friend. We’ve always been fairly active and now that we’re basically on autopilot with respect to our financial planning – we feel as though we’re fiscally fit – our attention has turned full force to physical fitness. We have every intention of fully enjoying retirement, being in the best shape possible, and keeping healthcare costs to a minimum.

  2. I’ve been going out for walks regularly during lunch time. I agree, walking is a great form of exercise. It’s way better than running because it’s much lower impact on your knees.

    • Absolutely. In fact, the wife and I just got back – we work in close proximity to each other – from our afternoon walk. Great weather here in Arizona.

  3. Love this blog, James! Let’s all be a slow-walker. But, NEVER walk back! Keep moving forward. 🙂

    • Indeed. As Soul II Soul implored back in the day, keep on movin’ don’t stop … .

  4. It is so beautiful that you and your wife do these types of activity together. Thank you so much for sharing…the pictures are beautiful. Feeling zen just by looking at them.

    • Thanks, my friend. We really do enjoy spending time together, including engaging in the various activities that comprise our workout regimen. It’s great to have someone there to encourage – and challenge you – particularly when you’re not as motivated as you’d like to be.😄 And of course, it’s great when we can enjoy great scenery and weather on activities like our recent hike.

  5. Nice views. In spring, summer and fall I try to walk at least 3 miles a day. It takes care of the weight put on in winter. The release of endorphins also tends to put you in a better state of mind.

    • There really is some great views and scenery in the area. While not as green as a lot of parts as the country – after all, it is in the high desert – I suspect it is greener and more scenic than most would imagine. “The release of endorphins also tends to put you in a better state of mind.” Indeed. Great point. I’ve always found that working out – whether it be walking or another activity – is a great stress reliever and helps to clear the mind.

      Here is another of my favorite pictures from the hike. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

      Ramsey Canyon - Stream

  6. Oh my gosh – that area looks gorgeous!! We have a lot of parks in our area so we hike and walk a lot. It’s one of our favorite forms of fitness because it’s so entertaining and the talking along the way practically eliminates any resemblance to work. 🙂

    • It really is a great area. A lot of times, when I talk to people and mention ‘high desert’ and ‘Southeastern Arizona’ or note that we’re south of Tucson and Phoenix, they imagine that it’s got to get pretty hot. However, though we’re way south, near the Mexican border, the truth is that we are at a higher elevation, about 4,600 ft. and the weather is a lot more temperate than those two places. I would say that we are typically 5 – 15 degrees cooler. Being surrounded by multiple mountain ranges – Huachuca, Mule, Chiricahua, Whetstone, and Dragoon – which each have their own unique qualities, provides plenty of interesting outdoor opportunities.

  7. Walking is great for the reasons you mentioned. It’s also a great time to spend quality time with your wife =) I also go on walks during my lunch break at work…sometimes by myself sometimes with a co-worker. It’s a great way to get some exercise and to get out of the office. It’s not healthy to live such a sedentary lifestyle which many of us do. I also have a long commute where I’m sitting.

    • The wife and I also walk during the work day. We work in close proximity – I can be in my car and over to her workplace in four minutes – and we try to walk for fifteen minutes twice a day, once mid-morning and once mid-afternoon. It’s not unusual for one of us to be too busy to walk during one of the two periods; however, it’s rare that we don’t get in at least one of them during each day. And with the great weather here in Arizona, we can basically walk year round.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  8. Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do. It does not have to be physically exerting and you get to see wonderful views depending on where you hike. Love how you also break down the benefits of walking as they are overlooked. Enjoy the future hikes!

    • Indeed. Great, simple and importantly, a free form of exercise. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  9. Just polished off a 5-miler myself and walk regularly for the precise reasons you state… It one of the things that now I have plenty of time to do! Absolutely love it.

    • “Just polished off a 5-miler myself and walk regularly.” Now that our retirement plan is largely on autopilot, the thing we talk about more than investing/saving is physical fitness. We’re confident that we will have plenty of money to do all the things we want to in retirement. The key for us now is to make sure we’re physically able to do those things and enjoy them to the greatest extent possible.

      Of course the other factor with respect to physical fitness and getting older is healthcare costs. The more we can help ourselves, the less we’ll have to rely on medications and other health related measures, the more money we’ll have for the good stuff.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend.

  10. Great pictures James. Wish I had been on that hike! Walking and mountain biking are two of my favorite ways to get our in the mountains. I hope you have a great week 🙂
    -Bryan

    • It really is a beautiful area … only minutes away from our home. Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend.

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