womens health

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.

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!

Walking Creates Health: Part III

In Part I of this series, I shared my belief about what health is: “A series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life. Health is a living, breathing state of being.” I also shared that I see the self as a whole—a Self with a capital S—meaning the magical combination of body/mind/spirit vs the view that the self is unconnected or unrelated parts or “just our body”.

In Part II we reviewed how walking creates health for our physical self—our body. Those benefits are remarkable. Today we’re going to take a look at how walking creates health for our minds—a topic I’m quite passionate about sharing with women.

Here at 1MWW there are two components to our walking Practice:

  1. Taking mini-walks throughout the day.

  2. Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

Those two components are what I refer to as walking in the context of this blog series.

So how do mini-walks and a brisk daily walk create health for our minds? Well for starters, walking improves self-perception, self-esteem, mood and (this is huge ladies) our sleep quality. Walking also lowers stress and anxiety. One point I want to really emphasize in this catalogue of benefits is that a regular walking habit reduces our risk of becoming depressed by up to 30% AND helps those who are depressed to recover. This is really important ladies because we are twice as likely to be diagnoses with depression than men.

Another important way in which walking creates health for our minds is that as we age, a regular walking habit can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of dementia by 40%.

And here’s a bit of body/mind connectivity for you: As you begin to feel more fit, more energized, stronger and more vital from walking, your body image and confidence increase. That’s a fantastic benefit for us ladies!

I believe that our mind is not just the muscle we call our brain but an intelligence that runs throughout our entire body. An intelligence we can harness and fuel through simply walking. And I believe that once we begin walking, and walking becomes a habit, that habit will happily create more health for our healthy minds thus becoming a delightful and life-giving upward spiral of ever-increasing health and happiness. From simply walking.

Next week we’ll conclude this series with a look at how walking creates health for our spirit. Yes, walking is good for the soul! See you then!

PS. If you haven’t already done so, please download my free e-book, The Truth About Women Walking. I wrote it just for you to empower you with the life-saving, life-changing transformation walking can bring to yourSelf and your life. Also, please join 1MWW on Facebook—we’re a group of Walking Women who walk our walk and talk our walk every day!

Walking Creates Health: Part II

In Part I of this series, I introduced this definition of health, “The state of being free from illness or injury.” When it comes to how and why walking creates that state, many women are familiar with the physical health benefits realized by our bodies.

I’m a huge fan of these benefits because walking truly is the magic pill we’ve all been looking for in terms of how to have a healthy body. Here at 1MWW there are two walking components to our walking Practice:

  1. Taking mini-walks throughout the day to avoid the damage done by excessive sitting.

  2. Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

Mini-walks (optimally a 5-minute walk after every 30 minutes spent sitting) create a solid foundation for your health by offsetting the damage done to your body from sitting. (Learn more about that here.) A brisk 25-minute daily walk is a walk that’s fast enough in pace that you can’t sing but you can still talk. I recommend a lunch time walk, especially for 9-5 working women.

When put together these two simple steps bring you the following benefits:

  • Reducing your risk of heart disease up to 40%. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the U.S. This alone is a great reason to get your walk on!

  • Improving your metabolism, which allows you to manage your weight.

  • Burning an extra 1,000-3,000 calories per week.

  • Lowering your LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol).

  • Increasing your bone density.

  • Maintaining healthy joints.

  • Toning your legs and core. (Core muscles include your abdominals and your pelvic floor muscles.)

  • Lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers.

  • Reducing back/shoulder/neck/hip and joint pain.

That’s a substantial list of benefits that add up to a greatly improved quality of life. And I have to say, that’s the tip of the iceberg. Walking treats or prevents over 40 diseases. If the pharmaceutical industry was able to package up all of the benefits derived from walking and put them into a single pill, that pill would be priceless! But you can have them all for free. That’s the beauty of walking.

Next week we’ll dive into the mental benefits derived from walking. Walking truly is a miracle “drug”—that’s why it’s the #1 prescribed doctor prescribed exercise. In the meantime, move more and take a brisk 25-minute daily walk. You’ve got some great reasons already!

P.S. If you haven’t already, grab your copy of my free e-book, The Truth About Women Walking. I wrote it to share the transformational power of walking with you. I believe every woman on the planet needs to know the truth--it’s that important. Why? Because walking can save your life, your mom's life, your daughter's life, your sister's life, your BFF's life. That’s important to me, to you, to all of us. Download your copy, get empowered and blown away, then share The Truth About Women Walking with every single woman you know.

Walking Creates Health: Part I

Health is defined as, “The state of being free from illness or injury.” Free from illness or injury sounds pretty good. Sounds like how most of us would prefer to be--every day. But health is not a static, fixed point we arrive at--health is a series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life. So health is a living, breathing state of being, fluctuating depending on all the variables we throw at it--some of which are doozies.

I don’t know a single person who is rigorous enough in their thoughts, choices, and actions to be “free from illness or injury” one hundred percent of the time. But I know some people who are right up there in the eighty to ninety percent zone, which is a great place to live. Most of those individuals practice health daily by eating whole, live foods, drinking plenty of water, getting outside, exercising, and getting the sleep they need. These health choices aren’t some enforced protocol to make them “free from illness or injury”; these health choices are the habits of their lives so there’s no stress, no forcing, no shaming/blaming/ugly self talk around any of it. They just live a healthy life and are, therefore, healthy.

That being said, for many people those health practices would feel forced, would feel like a tortuous way to live, would feel like punishment. Would be hard practices to adapt and turn into habits.

That’s why I’m a fan of starting with a really basic, yet profoundly effective activity that’s pretty easy to incorporate into just about everyone’s daily life: walking. Why? Because walking creates health.

Walking literally saved my life during the darkest years I’ve ever experienced and it became the foundation for my health practice. I’m a devoted daily walker.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring how and why walking creates health. We’ll do a deep dive into the benefits we realize for our whole Self (body/mind/spirit) when we choose two simple actions:

  • Taking mini-walks throughout the day.

  • Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

These two simple actions have such profound results its like magic! I look forward to sharing the magic with you here.

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How One Million Women Walking Came To Be!

 

Seven years ago I walked my way through the darkest time of my life--divorce, unemployment, giving up my home, clinical depression, and the onset of menopause. As a result of daily walking during that time I lost weight, overcame depression, got in great shape, was hired at two part-time jobs, found a beautiful new home and totally transformed my life.

My mind, body and spirit had become walking aware to say the least. I started seeing and saving reports on the health and quality of life benefits of walking from institutions like Stanford University and Harvard Health. I wasn’t really sure why I was collecting these reports but my intuition was telling me to, so I paid attention. Then our Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Reading Step It Up! was a turning point for me--it pushed my passion about walking to a whole new level. The seed of something had been planted in my subconscious and was growing with every walk I took and every bit of walking information I absorbed. I knew, I just knew, I was walking my way into something deeply meaningful and fulfilling.

As I kept walking and collecting information, I was inspired by beautiful articles on the power of walking from personal heroes like Elizabeth Gilbert and Arianna Huffington. I learned that many of today’s leaders practice the “Walk and Talk” meeting and I recalled the famous walking devotees from the past like Thoreau, Socrates and Jane Austen. Then I started sharing what I was learning with other women who were truly stunned. Like me, they didn’t realize that a brisk 25 minute daily walk could address so many critical life issues.

Based on my own life transformation from walking, the data on walking I’d been gathering and women’s responses to that information, I realized I wanted to share what I’d experienced and learned with as many women as possible. Then I realized--no--what I really wanted was to give women their own transformational walking experience! I became intensely passionate about doing this because I knew that daily walking = a happy, healthy, long life and I also knew that enough women living happy, healthy, long lives would be a force that could change the world!

So, I began asking women what it would take to inspire and empower them to become daily walkers. I learned that women need to be inspired by other women’s successes and by their own BIG WHY--a comprehensive and bigger vision of their life than the life they have now. Women want to be motivated to go for their vision by becoming accountable to it and by getting organized to make it happen. And women want to be empowered by steady support and continual inspiration from like-minded and like-motivated women.

I absorbed all of this information and naturally took it for a walk. I walked and wondered how I could combine my transformational walking experience with what I had learned about walking and what women needed to become walkers.


One Million Women Walking was born during that walk! I realized I needed to start a movement with a clear call to action and back it up with inspiring information that empowers women to transform their lives by walking. The rest, as they say, is history. Or our story as it happens to be.

One Million Women Walking (1MWW) has a very simple call to action: WALK! Our mission is to inspire and empower one million women who are not currently walking, to become daily walkers. And then we'll inspire and empower the next million. And then the next. And the next, and the next . . .

Please join us on Facebook and become a walking woman. You deserve a happy, healthy long life so start living it today.