Get Outside! Get Walking!

By Neil Earle

Handy Park in Memphis

I’m no doctor but every doctor I know is a fan of good old-fashioned walking. Dr. Mike Peterson at the University of Delaware says it is tops for the immune system – a phrase more in vogue these days.

The trick is to begin slowly and not try to be a hero. I took it seriously when I needed to lose weight back in September 1989. I followed hockey star Howie Meeker’s sage advice: “Walk a block a day!”

Eventually I was able to do a 2-mile run in 1991 and have the medal to prove it. Moving here to Memphis in 2017 my wife and I – needing the exercise fix – were soon outclassed by the young people on our softball team when the famous Memphis 5K runs came to my attention. I did 8 in 2019 and thought I had my septuagenarian plan in motion.

Howie Meeker: “Walk a block a day!”

Then came the Pandemic. Apart from some small local walk fundraising against MLS and other illnesses I felt hemmed in. Now the 5Ks are back and it is so much fun to get out in the cool morning and walk/skip/jog along the Mighty Mississippi with 2,300 other fine people. One of them snapped this shot of me at Handy Park in Memphis by the famous musician’s statue.

So summer is here. Get out and get running. Start small and keep at it. Your immune system will thank you.