What’s that old saying … something like ‘a long journey begins with one step’ … something like that.  Well, I have rediscovered the first step toward improved health … walking.  The health and psychological benefits of walking begin with one step.

On most mornings for the past two weeks I have jumped out of bed around 6 or 6:30 … OK, jump isn’t exactly accurate … I woke up, sat at the edge of my bed silently cursing my alarm, stepped slowly into my bathroom, brushed my teeth, put some clothes on and stepped out of my apartment into the morning air and walked.

These walks are now fairly brisk walks and my stride is longer.  The round trip walk to Starbucks and back is a mile.  Hey, I’m not giving up my morning coffee.  Call these walks ‘multitasking’ … I quickly walk to my caffeine-infused destination, buy my coffee and return home to drink it.

I love the morning, love watching the world wake up, love stepping through my neighborhood when few cars are moving.  I love the people-watching opportunities, even at daybreak … joggers, walkers, people at bus stops, neighbors walking dogs, an informal prayer group under the town pavilion.  The line at Starbucks is rarely more than two deep that early.  The quirky staff there provides early morning entertainment.  I walk past a fitness place and watch early risers doing group cardio routines (and I might join them soon).

By the way, during this same two weeks I have been sleeping much better, my recurring back pains are mostly gone and I’ve lost a little weight (measured in a belt notch rather than pounds).

One small step.  Then another, then another.  It works.