It would be difficult to find a better place to experience the four seasons than the unique geographical positioning of Kentucky. Granted, there are a couple of days a year it is too cold and snowy to walk two miles to the grocery. And I will give you the humidity, along with the ninety degree days, can make things tough for a few days, but most people take that in stride. This time of year makes those memories easy to forget, with trees and flowers blooming beautiful, each one straining to top the other. The birds seem to love it too, with each one singing its little heart out. Springtime in Kentucky is a symphony to the senses!
Depending on where you live in the Commonwealth, you can walk by thoroughbred horses grazing in the pasture, Abe Lincoln’s birthplace, or hear Bluegrass Music dancing in the air. Turn the other way on your walk, and Cardinals, along with gray squirrels, occupy the same branch in towering Tulip Poplars. A little further down the road, giant fields of golden rod serve as the favorite lunch to multitudes of Viceroy Butterflies. And finally, with all senses stirred, we turn the corner and our tummies are tempted by the smell of hickory smoked barbecue cooking on the pit.
Even if it was not spring, and we were not living in Kentucky, walking would still be one of the first exercises suggested to a person wanting to lose weight and get their bodies in better shape. There are a few things to consider before enjoying your walk. As with most things, there are rights and wrongs to walking, and not following these suggestions could cause you pain, injury, or a failure to enjoy the walk. Yes, walking is enjoyable!
Before beginning, practice standing up straight, engage the abdominals by pulling your belly in, and keep your mouth slightly open to breathe deeply. Practice taking a few steps while keeping your arms bent at your side, and position the hands like you are holding an egg in each hand. While walking, arms need to pump straight ahead and back. Avoid crossing your arms. Walking with good posture will allow you to breathe efficiently, making it easier to walk farther and faster. You want your body burning calories, getting stronger, and moving efficiently, without injuring yourself.
It takes practice and discipline to maintain good posture, but rest assured, your body was made to do this!
Let’s turn walking into Power Walking. “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.” Proverbs 10:9. “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Proverbs 13:20. “I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.” Proverbs 8:20.
God’s Word gives us strategy and direction in how we should live. Choosing to walk with God, even though things may be challenging or difficult, provides a powerful plugin we can draw power from. When we walk with Him, He strengthens us, providing an endless supply of energy and endurance. Choosing to walk alone is like traveling without your battery charger, and soon we find ourselves fumbling around in the dark, praying God will save us from ourselves.
Jeremiah 31:19 gives us an example of walking without God, “I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.” It seems the closer I walk with God, the greater the mercy He has for me. Praise God for his mercy and his grace!
Our walk with God can be powerful, weak, or non-existent. We can talk about Him till the cows come home, or until the horses return to the stalls, but talk is still just talk. We can know the scriptures backwards, forwards and sideways, but if our walk doesn’t line up with God’s Word, we can do more damage than good. Our spiritual walk reflects how we live our lives; what others see us doing, or not doing, or hear us saying, or not saying. How are we treating others, whether we are sincere or loving? What about our behavior at home, around those who know us best, what would they say? Do we honor them, or do we carry our daily struggles home to unintentionally punish our families?
Psalms 28:7 tells us we don’t have to face the world, our past, or our circumstances, unprotected or alone. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” God longs to hear your heart singing during your Power Walks with him.
There is something uniquely spiritual about taking an early morning walk—enjoying our outdoor community as we commune with God about our day. Walking in the morning, I often sense that it’s just me and God, discussing the day ahead. Psalm 5:3 shares; “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Wow, talk about tapping into the power!
Regardless of your circumstances or situation, He will see you through—He will help you endure more than anything on this earth. The benefits of time spent exercising with God are immeasurable. You will almost immediately begin to notice a decrease in your stress and anxiety level, cholesterol, body fat, blood pressure and insulin levels. Most importantly, our hope and faith increase as we allow God to direct our steps each day.