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Walk, talk and live long
Dave Paul: Host, Walking is Fitness podcast
BY PETER BOWES | WEDNESDAY MAY 25, 2022
An hour-long walk, before breakfast, is my favorite daily habit. It is a routine that I rarely miss and one which I credit for much of my current health and vitality. For all the latest diet, exercise and supplementation interventions, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other is, for me, a hugely rewarding lifestyle trail. The benefits of walking are widely documented although the motivation needed to develop a regular practice can be elusive. Dave Paul, an American radio host currently living in the state of South Carolina, is on a mission to promote the longevity enhancing habit through his podcast and blog, Walking is Fitness. With engaging monologues, recording during his morning walk, Dave shares his daily adventures with an audience that he says are “doing a hard thing,” but hopefully reaping the physical and mental rewards of a commitment to fitness. In this LLAMA podcast interview Dave explains how his zest for life has evolved into a passion for helping others stay accountable to their daily fitness regimes.
Connect with Dave: Blog: Walking is Fitness | Podcast
Read a transcript
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“I am very passionate about walking. Even if you don’t do it for exercise or fitness – if you’re feeling stress or melancholy or anger, even a ten minute walk will change that.”Dave Paul
In this interview we cover:
- Dave’s fitness journey and proactive attitude towards health
- Running a marathon by mistake
- From running to walking, because it’s more enjoyable.
- How More Steps with Day evolved into Walking is Fitness, a daily podcast about walking
- Using the skills of a DJ to wax lyrical about the joys of physical activity
- Developing the walking habit, mail box by mail box.
- How baby steps can lead to a daily regime of more than 20,000 steps
- What happens on the days when we’re just not feeling like it?
- Boosting creativity and mental agility through walking
- Alligators, birds and the changing seasons
- Inspiration through Mondays with Bernie
DoNotAge.org is offering listeners to LLAMA a 10% discount on its range of products – NAD boosters, Sirtuin activators, senolytics and more.Use the code LLAMA at checkout. Any health queries can be answered by emailing the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Affiliation disclosure: This podcast receives a small commission when you use the code LLAMA for purchases at DoNotAge.org – it helps to cover production costs and ensures that our interviews remain free for all to listen.
This interview with Dave Paul was recorded on March 2, 2022 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity. Now, one of my daily habits with my longevity in mind is a long walk. First thing in the morning, usually three to three and a half miles before 8:30 a.m.. It’s a hilly route. A very steep climb in the middle gets my heart rate up to about 120 125 beats per minute, and then back again in time for breakfast at about 9 a.m.. And that’s usually the first time that I’ve eaten since about six, maybe seven at the latest the night before. It is a routine, it’s a daily habit that comes now quite easily, I guess, through repetition and hopefully the knowledge that it’s actually doing me some good. And of course I’m not alone in this tried and tested way of kickstarting the day. My guest today is also a strong proponent of walking for fitness. Indeed, his blog is called Walking is Fitness. And Dave Paul has come up with a novel way to share his early morning walking experiences. Dave, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Dave Paul: [00:01:34] Peter Thank you very much. I am honored to be here. I’m a fan of your podcast. I’ve been listening for a long time and I guess in the world of radio, from where I come, a long time listener, first time caller.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:46] Excellent. That’s good to hear. I haven’t heard that expression for a while, but it is, as I say, nice to hear that. And you imply that we have perhaps similar backgrounds. And it is true my background is in radio. Radio, television is still you could call it my day job these days, but this is what I do because I strongly believe in it and it’s obvious that you do as well. So I think before we dive into this idea of walking every day, maybe just find out a little bit more about you, your background, what you’ve been doing for the last few decades and and what got you to this point.
Dave Paul: [00:02:18] Well, thank you. So on a personal side, I’m married to my wife, Ava. We’ve been married, I think we’re coming up on 38 years. We have six children. They are all grown and scattered around the country. We have two in California, two in Florida, one in Maryland and one in Virginia. Seven grandchildren now, which is very exciting. I’ve spent almost my entire adult life career in radio, primarily on air, most recently part of a morning show. I transitioned away from that at the end of December 2020, when my wife and I moved from Maryland to South Carolina. We live in Myrtle Beach and I still work for the radio station. I just work remotely doing some other things. But being on the air was a was a long passion of mine. It was something I wanted to do when I was a teenager. Fitness is also a passion of mine, probably not quite as long as radio. My parents told me that I would appreciate this when I got older. I didn’t believe them. But genetically, you know, you can’t choose your genetics. And genetically I am a thin guy. Skinny was what I was called in school and really wanted to gain weight. And my parents again said, you’re going to appreciate this when you get older. And they were right. I also in the genetic column come from a line of long livers. My parents are in their eighties and they are healthy and active. All four of my grandparents made it either close to 90 or into their nineties. My father’s dad, my grandfather, 98 years old. So when you’ve got these two things being thin and everybody in front of you is living a long time, you can. Or at least I did. I took my health for granted. I assumed it was my birthright, that I would remain thin and remain healthy for a long time. And in my twenties and thirties and part of my forties, there was nothing to prove me wrong. And then my mid forties things started to change. I started to gain weight, but not the way that I would have wanted to. The weight did not suddenly appear as muscles in my arms. Instead it kind of collected around my midsection, which was not a look that I aspired to. And I also started feeling not as well as I had in the past. I didn’t go see a doctor, but I suspect it was some blood sugar issues. There’s a little bit of diabetes in our family. And so at 48, I decided. I think I need to be a little more proactive with my health. And that began a fitness journey.
Peter Bowes: [00:05:05] And I just wonder, with a career in radio broadcasting, you say quite recently you were involved in a morning show. The hours aren’t exactly sociable, sometimes working in broadcasting, and a lot of people, myself included, you throw yourself into the job 100%, 24 hours a day. Sometimes at least it feels like that. And during those, let’s say, the formative years, the twenties and thirties, when you’re pursuing your career, health and fitness really is the last thing. I mean, sadly, it is the last thing that some of us think about at that stage in our lives was that you can you look back now and see to some extent where you were going wrong?
Dave Paul: [00:05:43] You know, I don’t know that it was the last thing. Looking back now, I wasn’t nearly as active as I thought I was at the time, but I played softball in my twenties and thirties. I was not very good. I also really loved riding my bike, but I didn’t do it so much for exercise as much as I just enjoyed the activity. And so there was no structure to it. And of course, both with my career in radio and the weird hours and then also a growing family and a bunch of little kids, I was not prioritizing my health really in any in any manner, and I certainly wasn’t being proactive any time I would hop on the bike, it was it was more for fun then something intentional. And the softball, even though I didn’t play much, that was more for fun than exercise. So I didn’t really start thinking about fitness until I reached my late forties.
Peter Bowes: [00:06:43] And so what kind of decisions did you make at that stage? There was a realization that you had to do something, you had to change your lifestyle. Which direction did you go in?
Dave Paul: [00:06:52] I actually became a runner, you know, again, because I wasn’t carrying a lot of extra weight. It was starting to collect around the middle. But I didn’t have I didn’t have that as really a brick wall that I had to either bust through or go over. And so I thought, okay, I’ll start as a runner. And I would run from one mailbox to the next. That was my very first run, basically the length of a house, and it kicked my butt. And so I went back home and the next day I ran from one mailbox to the next and then one more after that and felt defeated, went back home and just kept adding mailboxes until I was able to run a mile. And six months later I ran my first half marathon and for five years I enjoyed really enjoyed running, ran a bunch of 5Ks, ran a couple of 10ks a bunch of half marathons and one accidental marathon. I thought I had signed up for the half marathon and the night before, when you go and you get your race packet with the number that you put on your shirt and the little chip, the times, how fast you’re going. I was in in the line for the half marathoners and gave them my number and and they said, nope, don’t see that. And then they looked at the, the paper, the receipt that I had and they said, oh, no, no, you’re over there. You’ve registered for the marathon.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:24] And how did that make you feel?
Dave Paul: [00:08:26] Really? And I ended up running the marathon. I had never run more than 15 miles and I spent about 30 minutes contemplating: One. Could I survive this because I was almost 50 at the time? Could I survive this? Could I do it in a way that was somewhat respectable? I wanted my finishing time to be 4 hours and something, and I had recently heard about this one run walk way to do long races. I thought, okay, I’ll run a mile, walk a minute, run a mile, walk a minute and and did that and finished the marathon and 4 hours and 57 minutes. And that’s the only marathon I’ve ever run. So I did that for five years and actually contemplated because I was running some decent times and I contemplated really. Diving into the whole running world, I thought because I was wasn’t really fully into it. But if I focused on my training, I’d be able to run these particularly half marathons and be competitive in my age group. And I was contemplating that. And at the same time I got my first Fitbit. This was in 2013. And you know, of course you’ve heard forever. The 10,000 steps is what you should aim for. And I’m thinking.
Peter Bowes: [00:09:48] It’s a fairly arbitrary figure, isn’t.
Dave Paul: [00:09:50] It? It sure is. There’s a fun story behind that. But of course, you know, I didn’t know the story and I just thought 10,000 steps, this will be a piece of cake because I’m running every day. And the first time I put the Fitbit on, I was shocked by how far away from 10,000 steps I was, even with the running. And so what I started doing was I’d run three miles and then walk a mile to add to the the step total. And I did that for a handful of months, and I’ll never forget the day this happened. I’m at the park getting ready to do my three mile run, and I. I realized that I enjoyed the one mile walk far more than I enjoy the three mile run. And it was almost as if I was running three miles so I could walk a mile. And I thought, Well, that’s kind of dumb and decided I’m just going to walk. And at that moment, transition from running to walking as my primary fitness activity and have never looked back. So it wasn’t a matter of I was in pain or there was an injury or that that running wasn’t working. It was simply I thought walking was was far superior. And I still do.
Peter Bowes: [00:11:06] When I teased in the introduction that you have developed a system to develop a daily habit to make sure that you get out and you do that, that walk as it is now every single day. And you’ve combined that with with writing, but particularly with podcasting and essentially talking while you’re walking. So maybe you can just explain to us what it is that you do.
Dave Paul: [00:11:30] Sure. So the website and the blog is Walking Is Fitness, and that started first, and that’s been up now for about three and a half years. And interestingly enough, Peter, the idea for the blog actually started as an idea for a podcast like four or five years ago. I thought, hey, because I’d always heard, you know, people who have Fitbits, one of the common complaints was, you know, I want to get so many steps, but I always have a hard time reaching my goal. I heard that over and over and over again, and I thought, You know what? Why don’t I start a daily podcast? I’ll call it More Steps with Dave and it’ll be sort of instructional. Here’s how you can get more steps. And I played around with that idea for maybe three or four months, even recorded some sample podcasts, and they just sounded weird. And at the same time I was also writing a companion blog for it, which I enjoyed, interestingly enough, more than doing the podcast. So I just scrapped the podcast idea and did the did the blog, and it’s a weekly blog and there’s a nice little following. But about five, six months ago, I returned to this idea of a daily podcast because there was also a little bit of a disconnect with the blog in that I want to encourage people to walk. I believe that everybody should walk, regardless of what your fitness activity is, regardless of whether you’ve been exercising for decades. I believe that intentional walking should be part of your fitness routine, and it’s a great way to start if you’ve tried, you know, the New Year’s resolutions this year I’m going to exercise and then two weeks in, it’s gone. I believe that walking is a great way to start, but there was a disconnect in my mind. You know, I’m writing, encouraging people to walk and it just didn’t quite feel right. So I went back to the idea of this daily podcast. So made the the decision and the commitment to myself because I walk every morning just like you do, that I’m going to try and see how this feels to record a ten minute podcast, the first 10 minutes of my walk, and see if that feels right. And this time, unlike four or five years ago, it actually did feel right. And so I practiced for the month of November and then launched it on December 1st. And every day there is a ten, 11, 12 minute podcast that is 10 minutes of me walking and talking and really encouraging and providing motivation for others who are walking, whether they’re just getting started, whether they need motivation. To simply get out that day or whether they’ve been walking for years and decades, and they simply want to hear somebody else who shares a passion.
Peter Bowes: [00:14:27] Well, I think it’s a really good idea. I’ve listened to quite a few of them, and some of them are more, let’s say, educational, and that you’re sharing your advice on how to especially to develop a habit. And maybe that’s something we can talk about in more detail. But other times you just talk about life and the birds around you and what’s going on and what you’re doing later in the day. And I guess that is part of associating with people. That is really something that can resonate with others who are doing their walk. What do you think about when you have that conversation in your mind with yourself when you’re going on your morning walk? And I guess you’re just trying to mirror what people are doing during those few minutes, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour. We have time with ourselves, but we have conversations with ourselves.
Dave Paul: [00:15:13] Yeah, and that’s a that’s a great point. And obviously because I’ve got decades in radio, there are some similarities between what I used to do, being part of a morning radio program and what I’m doing now in radio when the air talent announcers, disc jockeys, whatever we call them now when they’re talking, we call those breaks, content breaks. And depending on the format of the radio station, they can last anywhere from 30 seconds to multiple minutes. And in the best situation, when you’re listening to someone on the radio, it should sound seamless and effortless and like they’re talking right to you. So that’s what I’ve been doing for my entire career. So I’m applying that to this podcast. So I’m thinking of the person who’s listening as if they’re walking right next to me and we’re having a conversation. And I recognize, because I’ve been doing this for a long time, that I I’m okay wearing the mantle of I’m one step ahead of you in terms of this and that. I’ve learned some things, both in terms of the impact and the effectiveness of walking and and how to make a fitness habit stick. And I don’t mind sharing that advice with you, but if I did that every single time, I think you’d get a little tired of me. Right? So I also like to tell stories and just observe what’s going on around me, just as I would if you and I were walking together.
Peter Bowes: [00:16:53] Well, let’s delve into the nuggets of information that you share. And I guess the biggest question that many people will have about themselves is, can I develop a daily walking habit? It sounds great. On January the first New Year’s resolution time, maybe it’ll last till January the 10th and you get up when you walk every day. But to persist in that and do it day after day, rain or shine. I know you hate the rain. You try to avoid walking in the rain. I’ve been listening to a few, but generally to pick up a habit that isn’t going to fade after a few weeks, what would you suggest to people?
Dave Paul: [00:17:27] You know, in some ways it’s actually a lot easier than we tend to make it out. But what happens is when you think about and I’ll talk about New Year’s resolutions, because that tends to be the time of year when we are thinking about personal transformation. There’s something about our lives, something about us that we probably don’t like and we want to change. And I am so guilty of this. At the end of the year, I will go off and list all those things that I want to change, that I want to see different a year from now. And it could be in the area of health, it could be in the area of finances, relationships, hobbies, whatever. And I would make these long list of of goals and just feel so excited. And I would love that time because of that excitement, because the the idea of all this change coming is thrilling. And I begin usually on January 2nd, not January 1st, for whatever reason in my brain. It’s like I give myself the day off on January 1st.
Peter Bowes: [00:18:44] I think a lot of people do that.
Dave Paul: [00:18:45] Yeah, and I’ll get started on January 2nd. And here’s what happens. It happens with me and it happens with almost everybody. That initial emotion, that motivation, that we’re ready to conquer the world. It cannot last. And after a week or two, it’s gone. That emotional fuel tank is empty. And the results that we wanted from all these goals and we’ll talk about fitness. Right, right now, those results take a long time. Whether it’s you want to lose weight, whether you want to improve your appearance, whether you want to change some key metrics the next time you go see your doctor for the physical. It takes a long time for those results to appear, and that emotional fuel tank is empty long before the results ever happened. So then life intervenes. Life gets busy and it no longer is nearly as thrilling. And we almost always jump into the deep end of the pool before we learn to swim. 10,000 steps. This is the year I’m going to walk 10,000 steps. Forget the fact that you’re probably only walking 4000. You’re going to add 6000 steps, which may not sound like a lot, but it’s a lot. And you can power through for the first couple of days, maybe a week, but it is not sustainable. So instead what I recommend and really the podcast is designed to help people get started and that is to start small a ten minute walk every day. It. It’s not always going to be easy, but it doesn’t feel like a huge mountain to climb. And you can make a fitness promise 10 minutes. I can walk for 10 minutes and most days, maybe five days a week. You’re not going to have any problem. You’re going to love it. And then they’re going to be those couple of days where your schedule is is busy or the weather is a little more challenging. And those are the days where that fitness promise, the promise you made to yourself comes into play. And a podcast like Walking is Fitness really can make a difference. One listener, Angie, has started listening to on December 1st, and she made that promise to herself and I think maybe three weeks in, she had one of those mornings where it was like, I don’t feel like it. I just don’t feel like it. And she said and then she remembered the Dave is waiting for her because the podcast, I think it it’s like available at midnight and she said if if he’s there I’m going to go for the walk and she put her headphones on and and, you know, just getting out the door 10 minutes. It’s great. And sometimes that’s all you need. It’s just that motivation to get out the door and you can keep going after 10 minutes.
Peter Bowes: [00:21:43] Since you started this, have you yourself had any days where you weren’t quite feeling it? You didn’t want to do it and didn’t do it? Or maybe you did do it and push yourself through and how you got there.
Dave Paul: [00:21:55] There was one day and I think I even even went ahead and leaned into it in the podcast. First off, starting any kind of fitness routine or habit on January 1st is like the worst time. And unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere.
Peter Bowes: [00:22:12] Right?
Dave Paul: [00:22:12] Because the weather in January just well, maybe not where you are and but even here in South Carolina, it can get cold. And we live a couple of miles from the beach and that wind can can whip up. So there was one one morning that was cold, it was windy, it was rainy. And I actually started recording before I went outside and just kind of leaned in and said, I really don’t want to do this, but went out. And as soon as I walked outside, you could hear the rain on on the umbrella. But, you know, I would say that if if I had not been doing the podcast, would I have still gone out for a walk? The answer is probably yes, because I’ve got a couple of things. Number one, I’ve got enough fitness momentum that, you know, it really it takes more for me not to go out for a walk than it does for me to go out for a walk. And there’s there’s a commitment that I have made to myself that I’m going to walk every day unless someone in my world is in crisis and they need and they need me, or for some reason, going out for a walk would harm my health. But if it’s simply uncomfortable or I’m too busy, I’ve made the promise to myself to go do it.
Peter Bowes: [00:23:32] So you talk roughly for the first 10 minutes. That is the podcast. How far do you ultimately go in terms of time and distance?
Dave Paul: [00:23:40] So things change. Since I started the podcast, the podcast initially was the first 10 minutes of a really long walk that typically is an hour, 15, sometimes an hour and a half. But I discovered that it was better for me to go out, take a shorter but still somewhat long walk of 20 to 30 minutes, record the podcast during that walk, come back and there’s a little bit of editing, not much, and loading it into the podcast server. And so I just take care of all that. And then I eat and then I go out for my walk, which is an hour 15 – hour and a half. So I’ve actually, since I started doing it differently, I’m now walking more in the morning than when I started.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:30] So I guess you’re doing you’re probably doing roughly the same mileage as me, maybe 3 to 4.
Dave Paul: [00:24:34] Miles for that morning walk. Yeah. And sometimes it probably can extend 4 to 5. It depends on the weather. You know, like today as we’re recording just it was a gorgeous morning and I did not want to come back to the house.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:52] So let me ask you this. And clearly, you’re not a scientist, you’re not a doctor, but you will have looked into the benefits of walking. Now you’ve described your transition from running to walking. It feels better for you. And I must admit I’m exactly the same. I was doing marathons and triathlons and biking and swimming. I still swim quite a bit, but walking is the routine every day for me and I get a lot of benefit out of that. But scientifically and medically, what do you understand to be the benefits?
Dave Paul: [00:25:21] Yeah, and thank you, because I often I say it in the podcast. I don’t think I say it enough, but I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I’m just a guy who walks a lot and knows how to use Google. Yeah, but I’ve also experienced so I do have that. I’ve got the personal experience of the benefits of walking. So when I started when I started the running, the weight that had been – started to gather around the middle. That came off pretty quick and I was feeling better pretty quickly. And so now, you know, I’m now let’s see, that was 14 years ago. So, you know, as you age, those health challenges increase. You know, it doesn’t stay static. But I can tell you that I still feel great. I have the fitness capacity to move a lot. I love walking. And one of the benefits for me of walking is I get to walk more. You know, you talk about Healthspan, which I love. I also like to look at health freedom. I want to be healthy enough to really have the freedom to do pretty much whatever physical activity I want to. And I’m able to do that for the most part. I get an annual physical. A couple of years ago, I had a physical for life insurance and the life insurance salesman tried to upsell me on the coverage because the physical came back really strong. So he figured I was a good bet. He said, Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. And you know, again, I’m not a doctor, but I’m not on any medication. I’m almost 62 years old, and I love that there’s no guarantee that that’s going to continue. I mean, there are no guarantees about any of this. But I’m investing not only in myself currently, but in my future self. You know, the the what I started 14 years ago was an investment in who I am today. And I’m really grateful that the 48 year old me took fitness seriously enough and the 62 year old me is now reaping the benefits and I hope to pass that forward to the 82 year old. Me, I think better when I walk. I’ve heard you talk about taking meetings on the phone as you’re walking back and forth. I do the same thing. Peter.
Peter Bowes: [00:27:54] Right.
Dave Paul: [00:27:55] I do the same thing. I’m more creative when I walk. Part of what I do for the radio station involves some creativity, some writing, and more often than not, I’m getting up and I’m walking around and thinking through the creative part of what I’m doing. It lowers stress. It boosts happiness. A couple of years ago, as my wife and I were planning for our move from Maryland to South Carolina, we were largely on the same page, but not entirely. And there were some issues that actually created some tension between the two of us and we made a commitment. I don’t know that we verbalized it, but we just started doing it and we recognized that all of the decisions that we had to make regarding our move, putting our house in Maryland for sale and deciding when we were going to move in South Carolina, all of the details that it was better done while we were walking. And that’s because, again, it lowered the stress, allow both of us to sort of think a little more broadly. And we now look back fondly on all those walks that where we made decisions to, you know, leave Maryland to move to South Carolina.
Peter Bowes: [00:29:15] And I’m curious to have on your walk, which you’ve now done many, many times, probably roughly the same walk every day. And certainly I have been doing the same walk for many years in the canyons to the north of Los Angeles. And one of the pleasures for me is observational in terms of what you see around you, how you see the seasons changing. For example, the other day I noticed a flock of pigeons arrive that arrived at exactly the same time as they did last year, lining up on the on the cables above me. I noticed just this morning the spring flowers beginning to bloom, something we didn’t get at all last year because it was extremely dry winter last year. This year we’ve had a little bit of rain, thankfully here in California. And the spring flowers are just beginning to bloom. I enjoy that. I get a lot out of that just and this is a solitary walk. I very rarely see another person, but there’s always something to see.
Dave Paul: [00:30:11] I love that. Peter, where we live, I have a set routine in terms of when I walk and I have not quite as set a routine as to where I walk. One of the compelling things about moving to where we live now is it really is conducive to physical activity. We live in a community that we’re off the beach. It’s a year round community. We are a mile from a shopping restaurant area and we’re close to an airport. And I just love actually, I’ll start out and I’ll kind of change it up. If I want to see what’s happening at the airport, I’ll go in that direction. If I want to see wildlife, I’ll walk along a lake. I saw an alligator. Not too long ago, which was. Was fantastic.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:00] Not everyone every day sees an alligator.
Dave Paul: [00:31:02] Yeah. So I’ve got a lot of choices, depending on what my mood is. I will tell you that one of the things, probably ten years or so ago, I really, really started falling in love with urban settings. I love walking and exploring cities. And when we lived in Maryland, I was an hour away from D.C. from our driveway to Union Station, which is where I would park was an hour, and I would get over to D.C. at least once a month on a Saturday morning, grab a cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop, and then just walk for hours. And oftentimes I was listening to your podcast as I’m walking along the National Mall and the US Capitol and by the White House and you know, was, was always looking for, okay, I’m familiar with D.C. Which direction can I go to discover something new? So I love that part of walking, that discovery part, that observational part that you love as well.
Peter Bowes: [00:32:05] But it’s really coincidental you should say that because I spent quite a bit of time in D.C. as well working and clearly my walk there is very, very different. And you’ve just reflected exactly what I experienced when I’m there. I plan a walk every day and it’s past the White House it’s past the Capitol building. It’s wherever. And I try to make it different every day and mix it up and see the sights and almost play the the tourist and benefit a huge amount from that. What I often describe as my secret weapon, though, and this applies to my home walks, is something that you haven’t referred to, and that is the fact that I’ve got a dog. In fact, I’ve got two dogs now. Just one of them is too small to come for a walk still, but the other comes for a walk with me every day, and were there to be a day when I decided, I don’t really feel this. I’ll have two eyes looking up to me saying, Well, I feel it and we’re going to go for this walk. And it’s a real incentive.
Dave Paul: [00:32:55] I hear you. We do not have a dog. My wife is allergic to dogs as well as cats, so we are dog free. But where we live, I’m in the minority. There are quite a few more folks like you who are out walking their dogs. And it’s interesting because depending on the dog, I see different, different paces. You know, there are some who are moving very slow and stopping every ten feet. And then there are others who, quite frankly, are keeping up with my pace and some even that are that are passing. And there’s one young woman. I love this, I think. They’re whippets. I’m not a dog expert.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:38] I’m from the northeast of England. And whippets are very popular there.
Dave Paul: [00:33:41] Yes, it’s kind of like a Greyhound. Yes. So she has two whippets and she’s probably in her twenties and she is on rollerblades. And those dogs are setting the pace and she’s hanging on rollerblading through the center of town. And I just think that’s fantastic.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:59] Yeah, well, I’ve got border collies, so they’re sheepdogs and they’re used to running up and down mountainsides and herding sheep. So in many cases, I mean, it could easily be a run. As far as the dog is concerned, it could quite easily be a run. Let me ask you this. As you, clearly my podcast, is about human longevity and health, and fitness is a huge component of that. And another big part of it is how we see our futures and what our aspirations are. And there’s a lot of very, really fascinating science about the fact that if we believe we are going to have a long, healthy future, well, perhaps that is a big part of achieving it. So I’m curious as to what your aspirations are about your own future and your own longevity.
Dave Paul: [00:34:39] So I’ll give you the headline. First, I want to be like Bernie. Let me unpack that. So my four grandparents I mentioned lived either my grandmother didn’t quite make it to 90 and my other three right around 90, and Bernie made it to 98 and a half. Now, we were from the time we were little kids, we were told to call them by their first names, Edie and Bernie, not Grandma and Grandpa. And at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think that was weird. But as I got older, it was like, Oh, who else calls their grandparents by their first name? But so I’m not being disrespectful. That’s, that’s how I referred to Bernie. So when I was in my thirties, my grandmother, Edie, her health declined to a point that she had to be put into. I believe it was a nursing home. I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. I had a house full of little kids. And, you know, to my shame, I don’t know all the details of that, but I remember going over to my grandparents house. Bernie was there and he had just gotten back from the nursing home and I had never seen him as down as he was. He he was even despairing of life. Now, Bernie was always very positive, and he didn’t stay in that space. But in that moment, it really shook me. And I made the determination that because I didn’t live far away from him, that I was going to visit him at least once a week. And he made lunch. So Monday’s with Bernie, and that lasted for almost ten years. And so Bernie was, I think, when we started maybe 86, and he spent the final year of his life in an assisted living facility. And I still visited him there. And he lived alone in this four level house with a large yard. And as long as he could, he took care of it. He remained active. He didn’t exercise. I don’t ever remember him talking about exercise, but he was engaged with the world, engaged with his own life. And he really was for those ten years, a master class on how to grow old. And after he passed, that was when it was shortly after that that I started taking my own health and fitness seriously and often say that my biggest why for walking for any fitness activity is I want to age well, I want to be like Bernie.
Peter Bowes: [00:37:29] And is there something you still want to do? Another common factor I notice with people who have a very positive attitude about aging is that there’s always something else they want to achieve. In other words, there’s quite a lot to look forward to in the coming years.
Dave Paul: [00:37:45] That’s a great question. Right now, I don’t the big answer is I don’t have a grand plan for the future. I want to remain active. Health freedom is a huge part of how much time I have remaining. I am very passionate about walking, about walking as a fitness activity, walking even if you don’t do it for exercise or fitness. Just to encourage folks to get out and take a ten minute walk, you’re going to feel better. No matter, you know, if you’re feeling stress or melancholy or anger, even a ten minute walk will change that. So I think right now with this podcast and with the blog, I really want to engage as many people as I can and impact, you know, as many folks as I can to to be motivated to get started walking.
Peter Bowes: [00:38:46] I think it’s hugely inspiring. Big fan of what you’ve been doing will continue to listen to the podcast. It’s been really super talking to you. Thank you so much.
Dave Paul: [00:38:54] Thank you, Peter. It’s been an honor.
Peter Bowes: [00:38:56] Dave’s podcast is Walking is Fitness. It’s available at all of the usual podcasting platforms. I’ll put the details into the show notes for this episode. You’ll find them at the Live Long and Master Aging website. That’s LLAMApodcast.com LLAMApodcast.com. You’ll also find a transcript of this conversation. In social media, you’ll find us @LLAMA podcast. You can contact me @PeterBowes or email me Peter@LLAMApodcast.com This is a Healthspan Media production. You’ve already found us. But a quick reminder, we’re available at all of the major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and I’d be delighted if you could leave us a review. We’re also available through Stitcher, Pandora, Audible to name, but a few. Wherever you listen to us, do take care and thanks so much for listening.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.