Sunday, October 23, 2011

Event Walking: The Volksmarsch

Event Walking: The Volksmarsch

There are many ways to provide motivation for the sustaining of the walking habit. Walking with friends, seeking novel walking routes, walking your dog, and waist-line watching are familiar examples. Another effective method is “event walking.” Dozens of charities sponsor walks for fund raising including AIDS, Alzheimer, Animal Welfare, Arthritis, Autism, and Birth Defects. Others include Blindness, Cancer, cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Heart Disease, MS, and Obesity.

A different example of event walking involves joining a group that sponsors events for the simple pleasure of walking. An interesting group is the American Volkssport Association (AVA). Their web-site identifies more than 1870 self-guided walking and biking trails throughout the USA. A few clicks will identify their great trails to do at your own pace, any day of the year. Using their research will enable a walker to enjoy walks and bikes in national, state, and local parks and forests; or take in lovely countryside or charming small towns in your area. AVA has an interesting incentive system incorporating decorative patches or pins for your walking attire.

Volksmarching (from German Volksmarsch meaning "peoples' march") is a form of non-competitive fitness walking that developed in Europe. Participants typically walk 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) on an outdoor path. Volkssport participants enjoy recording distances and event participation in international record books. More of a social event than a 'HEALTHY OUTING" Participants often bring along a Boda bag filled with wine or Apfelcorn. Less frequently used terms are Volkswanderung and Volkswalk.

Vell, vought are you vaiting for? Find an event and start walking.

Money Walker

Journal Update:

Today’s body weight: 175.6 lbs, up from last entry
Money Found from last five walks: $11.14, $2.23 a walk

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paris in 6 hours! Vacation Walking

Feature Entry: Six Hours in Paris and Vacation Walking

One of the MoneyWalker’s favorite internet groups is Travelzine sponsored by Yahoogroups. Members are travelers from all over the world and participate by posting and responding to questions by fellow travelers. Walking is often mentioned. One of my favorite threads dealt with the topic, “Paris in 6 hours!” The traveler is referring to a six hour layover and what can be done in the time frame. Of the several that responded, Sandy in Central Illinois, provided my favorite.

I know exactly what I'd do if I had only 6 hours in Paris.
I would head straight for the 6th arrondissement and have
lunch at the Cafe de Flore or Les Deux Magots, then a walk
in Jardin du Luxembourg, and back by way of Saint Sulpice
where I'd have a cup of tea or glass of wine at the Cafe de
la Marie, with a view of Saint Sulpice. Any leftover time I
would wander on the rue de Buci, maybe even walk or take Bus
#63 to Musee National du Moyen-Age (Musee Cluny).
Long vacation walks are a great way to experience a culture and combat the tendency to gain weight while travelling.


The Finifugal Walker and The Psychology of Finishing

Feature Entry: The Finifugal Walker and The Psychology of Finishing

This blog will explore reasons why people drop out of a walking fitness program before meeting their health and weight loss goals; but first a note about Ammon Shea and his book, Reading the Oxford English Dictionary, one man, one year, 21,730 pages. Shea’s goal was to read all 21 volumes of the OED, nearly 22,000 pages of definitions. Daunting! His book about the experience, in part, elaborated on words that he found especially interesting including the word finifugal, an adjective meaning “shunning the end of anything.”

A quick look in scientific psychology as well as Google entries will confirm that many people are what Jim Willis in his book Snap Shots and Visions calls “idea” people; people that are motivated by the excitement of conceptualization of an idea but not actualization the work to complete the project. They can get started, do the all the preparation, push forward into action, but then can’t finish the job. The finifugal walker is a person that wants to lose weight, experience the well-fit benefits, buy the apparel, read the literature, consult with a physician, plan a walking weekly/monthly/yearly calendar based on time and distance, initiate a walking program, maintain it for a significant period and begin to experience the success of weight loss and a healthier feeling, but then inexplicably discontinues walking without fully reaching the envisaged goals.

Why? One reason is a feeling of failure. The MoneyWalker’s last three blogs explored the “yo-yo” problems associated with exercise and diet. The early thrill of losing weight must confront the yo-yo reality. Like the stock market, losing weight is an up and down experience. We must learn to control the binges, not be discouraged by them. Finifugal walkers often have bad mental habits; they can’t balance the thrill of victory with the agony of defeat. Smart mental habits utilize self-talk and support groups to stay on task.

The beginning walking/diet program nearly always results in dramatic weight loss especially for people highly overweight. But then even with fidelity to the walking/diet plan, a plateau occurs. The weight loss mysteriously stops. Moreover, the plateau often last for an extensive period of time. That is when disillusionment sets in and the walking and dieting are discontinued. The answer to disillusionment is perseverance. The performance curve for weight loss is nearly always follows an elongated reverse S shape; that is, rapid improvement at the beginning, followed by a lengthy plateau of no loss, but then with perseverance, the curve again reflects downward weight loss. To defeat the finifugal effect, persevere through the plateaus.

Another symptom of the finifugal walker is time management; we are just too busy to devote the time to extensive walking. We get started but then run out of time. Never mind that many of us find hours of time for leisure pursuits related to electronic devices. Related to time management is procrastination, we will get back to our walking tomorrow. Determination is intrinsic, but don’t be afraid to use both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation sources to stay on track.

The finifugal walker is sometimes a romantic. He or she sees the sculptured bodies on screen effortlessly working out sometimes with friends having a great time. They romanticize the walking bout and then realize that taking long walks is hard work and practicing smart eating habits require discipline. Well Yes! For a finifugal walker to become a lifelong walker, food denial and positive work habits must become a part of the psychic make-up.

Blogging about cardio vascular fitness and dieting can sometimes be such a bother. Who wants to read information that is counterpoint to the lovely sedentary strategies of leisure time? But the truth is that maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index requires coming to grips with the reality of the ultimate finifugal walking reality—We never finish! Yet in the end, when we all finish life’s timetable, those that suppressed their finifugal tendencies will have live longer and with a higher quality of life.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beating the "Yo-Yo Diet," Final of a Three-Part Series

Feature: Beating the "Yo-Yo Diet," Final of a Three-Part Series

In our series on how to win the “Yo-Yo Diet” phenomenon we have learned from the theories of Erik Erickson to reduce the high end gains while increasing the low end losses. Each win at the extremes will provide the courage and experience to yo-yo your weight to a manageable sustainable level. We have drawn from the experiences of Reverend Ray Cannata that we can eat every day in a fancy restaurant and still lose weight. Pastor Cannata simply manages portion control (smaller portions), eliminates soft drinks, and follows an aggressive walking program.

Today’s blog features renowned cardiologist Dr. William Davis’s and his thoughts from his New York Times bestselling book Wheat Belly. In his book Davis presents evidence, both case study and empirical, that by eliminating wheat from our diets we can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems including minor rashes and high blood sugar.

After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat food products, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic—and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. Quoting Dr. Davis concerning what happens when people eliminate or radically reduce wheat from their diet:

Conservatively, I would estimate that 70% of people experience a substantial benefit beyond weight loss. It might be relief from a chronic rash like psoriasis, relief from struggles with airway and sinus health like asthma and chronic sinus infections, relief from gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, or it might be relief from run-of-the-mill arthritis or inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid. The range of conditions caused or worsened by this thing is nothing short of astounding.

To summarize, in order to win the “Yo-Yo” weight loss/weight regain cycle, the MoneyWalker’s plan is to win the "Yo-Yo Diet" downward cycle, engage a serious walking program, eliminate soft drinks, and radically reduce the amount of wheat products in your diet.


Weight Loss/gain from last blog = 174.6 lbs, no change

Money Found since last blog = $4.06 over 3 walks, $1.35 average