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Featured Folks: Week #2

Abigail M. Wood
Age 90, Retired

Abigail is an inspiration to the Wheeling Walks 30 Minutes or More Challenge! Although she is 90 years old and uses a walker, Abigail still walks 1½ miles a day! Her total walking time is 30 - 40 minutes and she walks faithfully every day! She looks forward to her walking and feels that it's something she can do for herself!

She has always been interested in exercise. Abigail said that as a teenager, she walked everywhere (partly because it was during the depression and didn't have money to ride), but she also liked to swim (and still does), roller skate & ice skate. Even before there was a lot of talk about the benefits of exercise, Abigail would clip articles from the newspaper about health.

What really motivated Abigail was her bout in the hospital last year when she had a combination heart attack, congestive heart failure and pneumonia. She wasn't expected to live. She read all the pamphlets the hospital gave her about her condition and particularly zeroed in on the importance of exercise. She continued her exercises that the hospital physical therapist gave her, even after she was released.

From last February, when she was in the hospital, until July, she had worked her way up to almost an hour of exercise. Now she encourages the people at Welty Home, where she lives, to also walk for their health. When asked if she wanted to add anything to this article, Abigail said she wanted to emphasize how "invigorating" walking it is to walk and also that she felt the Heritage trail was a very safe place to walk.

When questioned about her love of walking, Abigail gave the following answers:

Why do you walk? I walk to keep healthy. And even at 90 I need to keep my ideal weight.

Why do you love walking? I love to walk because it is easy to do and also because there is no expensive equipment to buy.

What is your toughest obstacle to walking? Because I use a walker, cracked or uneven sidewalks can be an obstacle. It is also dangerous to walk where there are wet leaves, snow, and ice.

What is your best advice for new walkers? New walkers should begin slowly. It is important that they have good walking shoes, and comfortable clothing.

What is the coolest benefit of walking? Walking keeps my body in good health but it also keeps my mind healthy too! Walking is also a way to meet many people that are interested in the same benefits from walking that I am. Even at 90 - it isn't too late to meet new people!

What is your biggest surprise about walking? I am always surprised at the good feelings I
get after I exercise. You are never too old to want to feel good.

Although she is 90 years old, we can all relate to Abigail's walking experience. Some days everyone feels too tired to walk. But if Abigail can keep up her routine at 90 - how hard can it be for the rest of us? Meeting people is another GREAT benefit of walking. The numerous trails in the Wheeling area make it a great place to socialize and meet people who have the same interests as you. Walk with a friend, walk alone, just WALK - 30 minutes a day almost every day.


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