Ris Lacoste, chef and owner of RIS, has declared she is going to to walk an hour a day for a "healthier, happier 2012." She started today and I hear that 30 folks showed up to support her effort and hit the streets of DC. And it just so happens, today is the first day of American Heart Month.
Now Ris says she will walk from 12 noon to 1pm following a designated daily route that originates from her restaurant, RIS, at the corner of 23rd and L Streets, NW. I started walking as a primary source of exercise on April 16, 2008 ... at the time I was 25 pounds overweight at 185, the highest weight of my life. The hour commitment is perfect but I bet Ris will have to be more flexible with the time slot -- her life is busier than mine and I have shuffled that hour from early in the morning to after 7 p.m. in the summer ... I just insist on daylight. Just like today, I couldn't walk with Ris, but as you can see from my Nike plus chart, I fouind my hour at 8:35. Thursday will be an afternoon walk when I get back from a DC meeting.
Back to Ris: The new program, RIS Walk 60, also supprts a heart-healthy cause. For every mile walked, Ris is asking walkers to donate $1 to the George Washington Women’s Heart Center. “The program’s mission is to save lives and improve the quality of life for women at risk of cardiovascular disease in Washington, DC,” said program director Dr. Jannet Lewis, M.D. Anchored by five outstanding cardiologists and leaders in their fields, the program has a special interest in reducing the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women. “Although heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, many women do not understand their greatest health threats,” she added.
Ris’ mother died of heart disease in 2010, making the cause all the more personal. “As a chef I realize I am in the unique position not only to feed people fresh, whole foods, but also to walk with them on the path to better health,” Ris added, “I hope that everyone will join me as we walk together for our own health and the hearts of the women we love.”
I will be walking in support of you Ris. The goal of the program is to walk 25,000 miles in 2012 to raise $25,000 for the GW Women’s Heart Center. For more information visit RIS online (www.risdc.com) or call (202) 730-2500.
OK ... here comes my spiel on walking. I know I started on April 16, 2008 because I still have the info up on my section of the Nike plus website. When I started, I did it with a special Nike shoe and my iPod nano. Today, I don't need any special shoes but can do everything through my iPhone app. I mean everything except the actual walking. It tracks and posts my time, miles, pace, calories burned and best times. It tracks by day, month, year ... I set goals ... I participate in challenges with people all over the world. Now it is true that all the lingo is for runners ... but we play along side them. And there is no cheating. I walk and the phone will upload the data. I can give info on the weather and my mood and it tracks that. It all works to motivate me. And as you can see, the GPS gives me a map of my day's trip.
I also use a webite info area on walking at about.com. I get the Baumgarnder newsletter and read it for tips, news, health information, equipment sugggestions, exercise routines.
So Ris, do whatever it takes to motivate yourself. I know you have a strong will, but we all need support. The great thing is you can walk anywhere ... from the beach to the flat grid of Chicago to the colorful neighborhoods of Queens to Central Park. In my neighborhood I've made friends, learned some secrets, found about $30 over four years and found an abandoned asylum. It's all good.
Everything usually comes up with unintended consequences ... mine was as I gained an appreciation for being properly hydrated, I lost a taste for Diet Coke. From two or more a day, I now have one a year, maybe. Actually, I would rather have a real Coke ... so I'll buy an occasional Mexican Coca-Cola made with pure cane sugar.
WALK ... walk for yourself, walk for a healthier life, walk for Ris ... whatever it takes ... go for a walk.