"Pinch me — I must be dreaming!" I'm inside the gym, and it's packed with people in no better shape than I am. Shoulders slumped, heads bowed, Spandex stretched beyond the point of elasticity… and there isn't a single Olympian to be found.
Following advice given to me as I trained for my first MS Challenge Walk, I throw a yoga mat on the carpet, intent on stretching for at least five minutes. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to bend my leg back so that my foot touches my backside, I become distracted by the rumbling of my stomach. Oh, oh… this can't be good. I'm hungry, and I haven't even broken a sweat.
"Focus!" I remind myself, and onto the treadmill I jump. Thirty minutes later and I've walked 1.5 miles; the training has begun.
But what about the stretching I skipped, and what does a body really need to make the leap between couch potato and workout? MS Challenge Walkers should focus on avoiding injuries at the Walk, and part of the key to that involves smart training. I found an article at webmd.com helpful on proper stretching techniques that you might want to check out along with other resources both online and also through the National MS Society Web site. In particular, starting on page 19, the the Training and Fundraising Guide outlines the value and methods of three forms of cross-training: stretching, strength, and cardiovascular.
What's your favorite workout or warmup?
Joan joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2004 when her friend and now Blister Buddies team captain, Patty Thorpe registered to walk. Patty, diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago, shared her diagnosis with Joan early on in their friendship. The undertaking of that first Challenge Walk and the three that followed not only strengthened Patty's and Joan's friendship, it began an MS educational journey that continues well after mile fifty each year.