Keeping Fit with Casper! Why Sally Margerison Loves Walking

Sally Margerison with CasperI am thrilled to welcome Sally Margerison to the HealthyHappy50 community. Sally is a friend I met on Twitter and was hugely supportive during my rowing challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support. With a shared love of the Yorkshire countryside and her professional & personal interest in health, I was keen to ask Sally to share her story. Hello Sally!

Which sports do you enjoy?

I love walking – either with my dog, on a hike or as part of a charity event.

Have you always been sporty or is this new to you?

I’ve never been sporty. In fact, PE/Games was my least favourite part of school.

As you weren’t sporty before, what motivated you to start?

Getting a dog 6 years ago forced me into walking regularly and I couldn’t believe how much better I felt doing just 20-30 minutes a day. Now I miss it if Casper doesn’t want to go out!! My husband, Rob is also a very keen walker, and as our girls are independent we try and walk every weekend.

Casper 1How often do you go walking?

I go out walking most evenings with my husband and the dog. We have a short, medium & long route (10 minutes, 20minutes & 30minutess) depending on our plans and the weather!!

How do you feel when you are walking?

I generally feel tired when I set off after a busy day but soon start to warm up. By the time I’m home I feel ready to do other things rather than being a couch potato.

How has exercise enhanced your life?

I feel better – more healthy, less tired. My shape and fitness has changed. Although my weight is roughly the same as 6 years ago, most people think I have lost weight. Walking lifts my mood. I feel sluggish if I miss my daily walk. I sleep better. I also use it as a time to think things over.

Sally Margerison CoupleWhat are your biggest motivations?

Definitely it’s about staying fit & active. I’ve recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis in my spine and I want to do everything I can to remain healthy. I also have the impetus to do some charity walks to drive myself harder.

What were or are your biggest obstacles to taking part regularly and how do you overcome them?

Certainly having a dog is a huge motivation to go out every evening. Sometimes it is hard, particularly in winter when the nights are dark and cold.

Who inspires you?

I have been inspired by people such as yourself, Jo, doing the charity rowing! (Gosh, thank you! I wasn’t sure whether to include this but thank you, it means a lot to me). Also Davina McCall – how she swam across that cold lake for Sports Relief, I’ll never know! My Mum inspires me. She decided at the age of 65 to get fit and now she does an exercise class 3 days a week and walks 2-3 miles every day, as well as working on her allotment and she’s 78!!

In my role as a Cardiac Nurse in the community I unfortunately see many people lose their fitness and it’s such a downward spiral. I don’t want to be that person.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Doing the St Michaels Hospice Midnight walk 10k in September 2015 and feeling like I could do it again. I did it the first time round about 7 years ago and it nearly broke me. I could hardly walk the next day. This proved to me that I was fitter and more able than I was in my forties.

Sally Margerison GroupWhat are your next goals for the future?

I want to stay fit and set myself achievable goals throughout the year. I’m planning on entering the local Race for Life and also an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. I will probably do the Hospice Midnight Walk again if they run it.

What are the 3 best things you love about walking? And the worst?!

  • It’s free
  • It makes me feel good!
  • It keeps me fit

There’s nothing about walking I don’t like.

Do you track your walking & has this enhanced your goals/enjoyment?

I have used a pedometer app such as Moves in the past, but generally don’t feel any benefit. I haven’t used it for a while.

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

Comfortable walking shoes and a warm hat in winter.

If someone was thinking about taking up a new sport/exercise but doubted herself or felt unsure about being judged or made to feel welcome, what would you say to them?

Go for it but start slowly and build up so you don’t get injured.

If someone was interested in taking up walking, what practical tips would you suggest they do next?

Take it in stages. Don’t be hard on yourself and definitely pace yourself.

Do you have a sporting or life motto?

Doing anything is better than doing nothing!

Casper 2Finally, this blog & community is called HealthyHappy50. With the lessons you have learned over the years, what would you tell your 20 year old self about health & happiness?

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Stay active.
  • Eat healthy and keep alcohol in moderation.
  • If possible get a dog to motivate you into getting up off the couch and doing something. It was one of the best decisions we ever made!!

Thank you so much for sharing your love of walking (and gorgeous pics of Casper!) with us Sally! Wishing you lots of happy times walking with your husband, Casper and the family. And good luck from all your HH50 friends with your charity events, please keep us posted!

Jo xx

Has Sally’s story inspired you? Would you like to share your walking or sporty story with us? Please let us know in the Comments or chat to us on Twitter & Instagram: @HealthyHappy50

Casper 3

{All photos courtesy and property of Sally Margerison}

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