Walking: It’s the Best Exercise Ever

the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes

Shortly after the story of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes begins, Mary starts walking in the evenings. While she’s been fairly active all her life, winter for many in Nova Scotia doesn’t provide much opportunity for outdoor activities unless you embrace the cold and love snow and ice.

With mild weather casting off winter’s slumber, Mary feels the need to get outside more and walk to the nearby park that has trails through the woods and along a lake. It’s a popular place for adults and children. There are even ducks.

Mary quickly learns that walking is reshaping her body. To be more exact, her legs are becoming stronger, she’s toning muscle and losing the extra weight winter hibernation added on.

My Love of Hiking

I’ve always been a hiker, a walker in the woods, but with work, kids and other responsibilities, I didn’t get onto the trails as much as I wanted to. Two years ago, I decided to change that.

One of the places my feet have taken me: Taylor Head Park, Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia.

I started small, just a kilometre. I’d walk every day it didn’t raining. Each trip out, I’d walk one more lamp pole length until I hit 5 km in one direction. After that, at least four times a week, I’d hit the road and walk that 5-km strip, which totalled 10 km per trip. The changes to my body were subtle, but what incredible changes they were.

I’m certain there were changes I couldn’t measure, such as the increased strength of my lungs. However, the things I could measure were impressive. Besides being able to walk that distance faster over time without getting out of breath, my calf muscles became leaner, I lost weight, my knees grew stronger and I could bend easier. The injury in my left knee went into hibernation. I think the muscles around the knee grew so strong, I no longer felt the injury. It was still there, and when I walked less in winter, it showed itself.

During my walks, I would think about my stories and scribble down on the scrap paper I carried anything I didn’t want to forget.

Another place my feet have taken me: Blomidon Park, Blomidon, Nova Scotia


A quick search in the old InterWeb, reveals the top benefits of walking.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Improve your balance and coordination.

No Training or Equipment Required

Walking is something almost everyone can do; you need only comfortable footwear unless you do as I do sometimes and walk a beach or grassy trails, then I go barefoot. Where I live, people walk by the house every day. They walk at different times and different speeds. Some are old, some are young. One woman wears braces.

If you want to get into shape and all you have is a pair of shoes and a little extra time, start walking. It doesn’t matter how fast you go or how far. Just start, and you’ll find yourself going farther and faster as you rack up the miles. That’s the wonderful thing about walking; you can do it at your own pace and when your body is ready, you can increase your distance a little bit at a time.

And here’s a secret: it’s absolutely free.

Launch Day

Today is launch day for the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. The first chapter is available on its book page on this website. It is available exclusively at Amazon, so if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you read for free.

There’s only one negative thing about walking: I can’t read and walk. Or at least I shouldn’t.


2 thoughts on “Walking: It’s the Best Exercise Ever

  1. Nice to meet you, Diane. I am visiting from Debbie’s blog, dgkaye. I am curious how you spaced and added information on your photos. Looks great. You had mentioned using a paragraph block for spacing. I use the actual ‘spacing’ block. All a little tedious, yet it works. And, yes, I am an avid walker, too. You bring up great points on the benefits of walking. Nova Scotia is gorgeous! Erica


    1. Hello, Erica. Wonderful to meet you. I didn’t know there was a spacing block. I haven’t fully explored this block editor yet. I’ve done the very basics to see what I could do with simple text and images. My first post using it was with the tour of fall my garden: https://dianelynnmcgyver.com/2020/10/25/fall-in-my-garden/

      When I first previewed this garden post, all the pictures ran together. I had used ‘media and text’ blocks (except for the Great Oak Story; that was a paragraph block). To add the paragraph between theses blocks, I hovered my curser between them and a black box with a white plus sign appeared. But sometimes it didn’t appear, and I dropped the curser and hit enter. This generated the plus sign. Clicking on that allowed me to add the paragraph block. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to add the space, so I just took a chance and added a paragraph. It worked, so I continue to use it.

      For the walking post, I did the same thing to provide breathing room between the pictures. But I believe I had to do that only above the photos, not below. I am far from an expert, and sometimes I don’t know how I achieve what I do because I get frustrated and click something, anything that will help. Eventually, I’ll get better at it.

      For a wee province, we have many magnificent sites. We’ve got everything in small portions: the mountains in the Highlands of Cape Breton, the flatlands beneath North Mountain in the Valley, miles of rocky landscape on the South Shore, hundreds of lakes and rivers and thick forests. And then there are miles upon miles of coastlines to explore along the Atlantic Ocean. It has always been my home and always will be so I’m bias.

      Good luck with Block Editor. It’s going to be a challenge for all us.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.