I’m walking on sunshine…whoa…..and don’t it feel good.”Katrina and the Waves
My husband and I walked, with the sun on my face and my hand in his.
We spent many a night walking our little puppy around our neighborhood this summer. What started as a bathroom break before bed for the puppy quickly became a coveted time for my husband and me.
Walking seems like such an easy task, until it’s not.
Last fall, I would give anything to be able to walk around the block without wincing in pain. Suffering from chronic hip pain, I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I remember loving to do. I fondly remembered days of Zumba, kickboxing, and other group classes. As my pain increased and my hip became more arthritic every year, the possibility of engaging in these activities became minimal.
I remember thinking about how I couldn’t imagine being able to walk with my husband again (I share my journey through hip replacement and recovery here).
In January, I underwent hip replacement surgery and can now eagerly attest to a pain-free state. With this newfound freedom from pain, walking became a necessary component in my post-surgical recovery, as it was the only exercise that my hip could support days after my procedure. As I listened to the suggestions of my surgeon, walking seemed to be the best newly formed habit to stimulate my healing.
As I walked, I found that this component of my recovery was quickly becoming an activity that I would want to continue. I enjoyed this time and was able to really clear my mind and enjoy the quiet time with the Lord.
As we look at creating good habits that we can continue for the rest of our lives, I believe that it is important that we select ones that are sustainable. Walking is a habit that requires little stress on our bodies but provides many health benefits. The more active we are as we grow in age, the easier it is on our bodies to grow old. We can strengthen the muscles and ligaments that will support our fragile bones.
Every day as I increased my pace and my distance, I was increasing my stamina. I was able to push my body to walk a little farther. As my walks continued, I could feel the strength returning to my thighs and my calves. I was building my body into a temple.
My body needed a slow climb throughout recovery. My hip and legs were often sore and exhausted from minimal walking around the neighborhood. As the weeks and now months have passed, I have been able to build up strength and find myself feeling healthier.
In addition, as I began to take on many of my old responsibilities, it was clear that I could help our family by taking the dog’s morning walk. As I grew more and more stable, my attention could shift from the actual focus on physical walking to monitoring the puppy’s activities as we walked. Each morning, my earbuds filled with new podcasts, worship music, or audiobooks as I took to longer walks. I came to appreciate this time with our new puppy as I prepared mentally for the day ahead.
Around the same time every night, I would put on the puppy’s harness and get her ready for her last walk of the evening. Noticing my increased energy, my husband soon decided to join me on my evening walk. As we walked and chatted, I remember thinking, “Wow. This could be really good for us.” He grabbed my hand, and we talked about our house, our love for this neighborhood, and how blessed we are in our life.
Sometimes we need to take a break from the rat race of life and slow down.
I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.”Leviticus 26:12
As we walked, there were times of quiet where we just took in the creek and nature around us.
The Lord was showing me that I could continue to “walk” with Him throughout my day alone and with my husband. He would meet me on the walking trails in our neighborhood, and He would meet me with my spouse later in the evening.
This was a welcomed change from our regular date nights out to dinner. We are in the process of selling our home, so it is pure gift to spend time enjoying each other’s company and not spending money. Not only a welcomed break in our budget, but an evening walk has been a great way to increase our overall health together.
Over the past few years, both my husband and I have been putting on extra weight. Finding time to work out in our schedule is often difficult. Physical activity is a great way to spend time together while increasing our muscle tone and losing weight. With his demanding job and my homeschooling the children, we value all the time we can get together. Walking together enables us to multitask several things at one time: the dog’s walk, our time together, and an evening calorie burn.
As parents of five lively and talkative children, it is difficult to get time alone to discuss many of the important issues that arise. These evening walks have provided the opportunity for us to spend time alone discussing the smaller, everyday highs and lows with each other. As we walk, we sift through current issues, challenge each other to find the best solutions and work out decisions for the good of our family. Uninterrupted time can be impossible to find, but it has been a great addition to these walks.
Stress is very high in our home right now as we are in the process of selling it and purchasing another. I know that these walks will be of utmost importance as we continue to follow this path of new homeownership. When stress hits our home, I often want to find myself a ½ gallon of ice cream and a spoon, but I think increasing my walking at night will help me relieve that tension. Physical activity such as walking is also a great way to tire your body for great sleep at night.
God has called us into a deep relationship with Him and our spouse. I have found that this time, of nightly walks with my husband, is drawing my husband and me closer. We are learning to listen better, to drown out all the influences in our environment, and allow the Lord to walk among us. My hope is that you will find a physical activity that you and your spouse can do together that will draw you closer to Christ while strengthening your body as well.