women's fitness

Walking Women: Karla Deal!

Today’s Walking Women Interview is with Karla Deal of Nashville, Tennessee.

Q. Karla, what inspired you to start walking?

A. Mostly, my dog. He requires daily exercise, like myself. ☺ But due to my chronic pelvic pain, I was unable to walk him for years. We had to default to dog parks, where he could run and I could watch from the sidelines. Not the life I wanted but had to learn new skills to find ways to exercise with the pain. Since that has become more manageable, my walking has taken on a whole new meaning.

And my feet taking me to new places that I can photograph. Photography is a huge passion for me and I see so many photo ops while out walking.

Q. How long have you been walking?

A. More consistently, about 2 years now.

Q. What changes (body, mind, spirit) have resulted from walking?

A. My body is much more mobile, my mind is a lot less cluttered and my spirit feels much more connected, especially to nature. I love nature and it fills my soul to be out in it. My level of gratitude has also increased since my body is allowing me to get out and walk. Walking was something I completely took for granted, until I was unable to do it for 15 years. Now I get out and walk as much as I can because…….I can. In my case, it’s a privilege that I absolutely no longer take for granted.

Q. What happens if you don’t walk?

A. I think I start feeling depressed and sluggish. You know what they say—”A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion, stays in motion”! My body craves the movement.

Q. What does walking mean to you?

A. FREEDOM!! Just for the fact that I can now incorporate it into my life. And it is a part of all I do on a daily basis to bring my Body/Mind/Spirit into alignment. Walking is now an integral part of my overall healing and it is very healing for me to walk. And it’s my way of being able to connect with nature in an uncomplicated way. No reservations are required. No walking partner is required. Just pick a place and Maverick and I are off and walking. In addition to all of the mentioned benefits, it allows Maverick and I an opportunity to bond even more.

Q. What are your biggest walking challenges/obstacles?

A. Finding trails that allow Maverick to walk with me. I prefer ground trails to asphalt, as I like feeling the connection of my feet to the earth. The heat and humidity here in the South can also be challenging. My body has apparently never adjusted to this heat and humidity, even though I have lived here my entire life.

Q. What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren’t—yet?

A. Walking is healing. Nature is healing. And both create alignment for your Body/Mind/Spirit. Give yourself the gift of healing and connection and start walking. You will discover new things about yourself and the world you live in.

Karla, we must be Soul Sisters! Thank you so much for sharing your walking story with 1MWW!

Karla Deal is a Copper Artisan and owner of Copper is My Canvas, where she creates gorgeous custom copper for both residential and commercial clients. She is also a student of Buddhism and a lover of life. Most importantly, Karla is Mother to Maverick, her 7 yr. old rescued Standard Poodle, who lives the good life! “My BFF,” says Karla.

Karla is a lover of all animals, nature, photography, sunrises and sunsets, walking, hiking, exploring, traveling, art, waterfalls, theater and volunteering with rescued horses. Her Self-Care practices include daily meditation, walking, hiking, Pilates, swimming, restorative yoga, silent meditation retreats, breath work and dharma talks. Karla is also a member of 1MWW.

Karla’s passion is working with copper and surrounding herself with people and teachers she can learn from.

Her 2019 Word: Curiosity.

“Peace and Metta”~ Karla Deal

Feel Better Today

“What keeps you motivated to walk every day?”

I was asked this excellent question by an audience member at a speaking event last year. My response?

“I walk for 90-year-old me. I walk today for her—for the woman I’ll be tomorrow. Because I want to be walking when I’m 90 and beyond.”

This is absolutely one of my primary motivators for moving more throughout my day and taking a walk every day. However, it’s not the only motivator by far. In fact I have a much more immediate, incredibly satisfying, instant gratification motivation:

I feel better.

I feel better every time I walk. It’s that simple and yes, that self-serving. I like feeling better. I really like being able to get up and do something, on my own volition, that makes a significant difference in how I feel: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

That’s the beauty of walking.

Walking makes you feel better right away. This has been proven by countless researchers in a variety of areas. Walking boosts self-esteem and mood, resets your metabolism, refreshes your thinking, and renews your spirit. You can make yourself feel better by walking. You can chose walking every day as a way to feel better. And who doesn’t want to feel better? Because feeling better, is better.

FEEL BETTER TODAY. GO FOR A WALK.

PS Here’s how I can help:

  • Download my free e-book, The Truth About Women Walking, to learn more about how and why walking transforms your life.

  • Join the 1MWW movement on Patreon.

  • Hire me to speak at your next event!

  • Form a 1MWW Chapter at work, for your bookclub, for your professional group, for your women’s church group! Contact me and I’ll share the simple 1MWW Chapter Guidelines with you. Note: All members of your Chapter must be members of 1MWW on Patreon.

Top Three Benefits of Winter Walking for Women!

Ladies it’s official—it’s winter. Granted I am writing to you today from sunny Anna Maria Island, Florida where I’m “snowbirding” for the holidays but I’ll go back to winter and have just come from winter—in Wisconsin! (The photo above was taken on a walk last week at Willow River State Park in Hudson, WI. I love the falls in winter!)

I lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin for 25+ years so I know a thing or two about winter walking. In my last blog post I reviewed how good gear and the right route make winter walking truly wonderful. In today’s post I highlight my top 3 benefits of winter walking for women.

  1. Combat SAD! Seasonal Affective Disorder is more common in women than men and, having suffered from it myself, I am particularly sensitive to how devastating it can be. Walking is a fantastic way to combat SAD because of the exposure to sunlight, which in turn helps us produce much needed vitamin D. Some studies suggest that a Vitamin D deficiency might be an underlying cause of SAD. Just 15 minutes of sun on your face and hands 2 or 3 times per week means getting enough sun for vitamin D production. This sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, which helps combat SAD. And ladies here’s a great side-benefit of winter walking/vitamin D production—our bones need vitamin D to make our bodies absorb the calcium we need to keep our bones strong.

  2. Burn more calories! I’m not a huge proponent of calorie counting but I am a proponent of being aware of what you eat and why. I’m also very aware that in winter it’s easy to eat more carbs and sweets and exercise less. That’s why winter walking is a great exercise choice. We burn more calories because our bodies are working harder to stay warm. Win-win? I think so!

  3. Boost self-esteem! Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can boost self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves, we make better choices for ourselves. In this way boosting self-esteem becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-esteem is defined as, “Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.” This is something I want for all women—that we feel confident in who we are and we care for who we are! Deliberately boosting our self-esteem with a winter walk seems like a very natural self-care choice!

Winter walking has benefits for your whole Self—that’s body, mind, and spirit—that will help you get through winter with a joy and resilience you’ve never experienced before. I highly recommend you get your walk on this winter to be happy, healthy, and to have a spring in your step no matter the season.

Happy Walking!

Join 1MWW on Patreon for the inspiration, empowerment, community, connection, and accountability you need to transform your life by simply walking. I can’t wait to walk with you!

Good Gear + Right Route = Wonderful Winter Walking

Winter walking can be truly wonderful given the right gear and the right route. I lived in Minnesota for over 25 years so I know of what I speak! Here’s my winter walking guidelines for good gear and the right routes.

Good Gear!

Good gear isn’t necessarily expensive or super high tech. To me good gear is gear that fits well and does the job you need done. For winter walking you need gear that holds your body heat comfortably and also breathes. I recommend a “grounds up” approach starting with what you’ll put on your feet. If the snow cover is fairly light (less than 3 or 4 inches) well insulated hiking boots and wool socks will keep your toes toasty for your 25-minute brisk walk. Layer on some long underwear and wind pants or jeans to keep your legs warm and for your torso take the same approach— a long underwear top and a fleece or wool sweater. I like an insulated but light weight coat to cover my core; the main thing I want is wind protection. My final good gear suggestions are mittens or gloves, a neck gaiter and a good warm hat. There you go—you’re ready to walk!

Right Route!

The right route is one that’s easily accessible, safe, and beautiful. Easy access for some of us is right out the door, which is ideal. If your neighborhood is walkable, you can’t beat “out-the-door” for time management! If your right route is not in your immediate neighborhood, make sure it’s well-lit, has little to no ice, is well trafficked by fellow walkers, and is easy to get to so that you will indeed get there on a regular basis. My main right route criteria is no ice—one slip on a hidden patch of ice and your winter walk turns into a winter spill. Avoid this by walking routes that have full sun during the day and are walked frequently.

Keep it simple, easy and doable walking women and you’ll fall in love with wonderful winter walking.

P.S. Through the One Million Women Walking movement, I help you get the exercise you want in just minutes per day so your Self-care and your TO DO list both get handled! Join 1MWW on Patreon for $1/month to get the exercise you want, the accountability, support, motivation and encouragement you need, and the life transformation you yearn for! See you there—I can’t wait to walk with you!

3 Critical Questions to Ask About Your Workout

One of my goals in founding the One Million Women Walking movement was to develop an actionable tool to help you create health and wellness in your own life in your own way. I knew that I wanted to provide a method that was simple, doable, scientifically proven and highly effective. Why? Well you see . . .

So many women I’ve spoken with said they simply didn’t have the time to add anything complicated or time consuming to their lives—no matter how beneficial it might be. Great feedback! So I kept the 1MWW 3-Step Practice simple, understandable, and immediate by creating a health and wellness plan that you can start right now to benefit your health right now, regardless of your lifestyle or life-stage or how crazy busy your life might be.

We all need little victories and 1MWW is all about daily little victories. Because little daily victories add up to big life-changing results.

The mission of 1MWW is to inspire and empower women to transform their lives by simply walking. Daily walking saved my life (that was my big inspiration) and as I was going through the process of founding 1MWW, building the website, starting social media, I began comparing the ease and effectiveness of walking with other workouts. That led me to some core questions, which I want to share with you now: 3 Critical Questions to Ask About Your Workout.

  1. Does this fit for me? Does my workout fit my lifestyle and Lifestage or does it add one more thing to my To Do list that I ultimately end up resenting and feeling frustrated about?

  2. Does this make me feel better about myself? Does my workout really lift me up in a way that makes me grateful to be doing it?

  3. Does this truly support and expand my whole Self—my body, my mind, and my spirit? Does this workout give me a sense of being more whole, more in tune, more ME?

These might look like simple questions but there’s a profound truth behind them. The truth being that despite your best intentions or your doctor’s warnings or your own fears about your health, you won’t be able to fall in love with a workout that adds to your To Do List, makes you feel worse about yourself, or leaves you feeling fragmented and confused.

I want you to fall in love with your workout and with the YOU that does that workout. I believe you deserve a way to care for yourSelf (body, mind, and spirit) deeply and meaningfully every day. A Self-care practice that fits into your life starting right now, makes you feel really good about yourSelf, and gives you a sense of being on the wonderful, fulfilling journey of becoming the YOU you want to be.

So if you’re not satisfied with your current workout or exercise practice, ask these 3 Critical Questions and listen for your answers. You’ll discover if your self-care is lacking, is frustrating, is shaming or is perfect. My wish your you is that you find the perfect workout and that it elevates your whole Self and that you fall deeply and profoundly in love with it. And that it loves you back, big time!