Both of my grandmothers suffered heart attacks. One died in her 50s and the other survived. When I started to have shortness of breath and irregular heartbeats while skiing and hiking, I knew I needed to do something different. I was in my 50s and wanted to make sure I was still around when I had grandchildren. A visit to my cardiologist assured me I could “tame the beast” (my raging heart).
My health plan provided me with encouragement through their online wellness challenges. In August of 2014, I purchased a step tracker watch, started a wellness journal and tracked my progress. Here’s a journal entry in September: “New personal best! 16,886 steps, 7.5 miles. Took Shirley’s Trail and the logging road to the mailbox. Then, took Three Point Trail to home. Sleeping well, wellness feels good!”
In addition to being passionate about walking, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing, I also changed my diet. I started drinking more water and reduced my caffeine intake. My magic formula also included good old-fashioned oatmeal with blueberries. Whole fruits and whole grains = yummy. It’s nice to know you really can make a difference in your own wellness. The rewarding part of my walk to wellness is that it’s taken me back to nature. I enjoy beautiful scenery and have encounters with wildlife along the way. It’s as if the wildlife is there to cheer me on by saying: “Keep going, Lesa. You can do it!”