All posts by Anita Kapoor

In a walking slump? Don’t give up!

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Sometimes despite our best intentions, we find that we have lost our motivation to walk.  It honestly happens to everyone.  We have to stop for a week when we go on vacation or someone has fallen sick. We have visitors who have come from out of town  or there is too much work to do. The list is endless as to why we suddenly don’t have the time to walk. Once we stop walking,  it like our engine has been turned off.  No matter how many times we turn the key, and start a walk, it just doesn’t seem to ignite our walking engine.  We might do one walk here or there, but we can’t seem to get ourselves moving on a regular basis.  Then the guilt starts and every single day that we see others walking we think about why we aren’t walking.

If you are like me and feeling the guilt pile up day after day, take a deep breath.  The first thought might be to just give up.  After all it is easy for all of us to just drop out of the club, since we don’t pay any monthly membership dues.  But would that stop the guilt?  Would that actually help your health? The obvious answer is no.  So the next question to ask yourself is how to pull yourself out of the walking slump.

The answer is the Happy Feet game of tag! One of the unique things that has started in our club recently is our tagging system.  By tagging people to just walk only 200 steps or 10 minutes, the time and dedication needed for a longer walk is alleviated.  Everyone can participate.  If someone tags you, don’t ignore it.  Don’t put it off until “later”, because if you are in a slump then “later” never happens! 200 steps takes as little as 5 minutes depending on how fast you walk.  Even if you are on a conference call or making dinner, you can walk 200 steps easily.

The second step to becoming motivated is going to the Saturday walks.  These walks are an essential part of our club.  They give us all a chance to not just walk but to become re-energized by our friends. Let your fellow club members give you the motivation to start walking again.  Make a Happy Feet Friend close to your neighborhood and set a specific time that you will meet for a weekly walk.  Start with just one walk a week and build up from there.

The next steps is collages.  You might feel that the collages are a waste of time, but think of it as record of your effort, your time, and meeting your own goals.  There are of course weekly challenges to help make the collages even more interesting, but the core of the collage is saying that YOU are important enough to set aside time for YOURSELF.   We often hesitate to take a selfie – but why should we? It doesn’t matter how you look or what you wear, YOU are beautiful !

So the next time you find yourself in a walking slump, follow these steps and I promise that you will be back to walking everyday and feeling great. Remember your Happy Feet Friends will be happy to help you every “step” of the way!

Become active; Lose weight. What does it take?

How many miles a day do I need to walk to lose weight and how do I become active are the question many ask.

Walking is a great form of exercise, the longer the walk the more calories you burn. The harder you walk, the more calories you burn.
But just like with any workout program you want to start where you can and progressively work toward taking on more.

Once you have gained stamina, I would suggest walking 3-4 miles a day to stay fit. You will walk for about an hour and can burn up to 400 calories just walking.

When it comes to walking for fitness it is not just about the distance you cover, it is also important that you keep a good pace and keep your heart rate up to gain maximum results.

Walk for a minimum of thirty minutes each day.

If you have been inactive, walk as far as you can without feeling fatigued or stressed, even if you can only last for a few minutes.

(Thirty minutes can be broken up into shorter periods, like three ten-minute walks)

Then, gradually increase your walking time until you can walk briskly for at least thirty minutes without discomfort.

If you have been active, you can move directly to the thirty minute or longer brisk walk.

Here are some numbers I noticed while walking.

1 Mile = 2100 or so steps (depending on your feet it’s from 2100 to 2500 steps)

1 Mile walked = 100 calories burned.

Happy Feet Walkers Family motivates in many ways.

It motivates with new and interesting challenges.

Don’t want to walk alone no worries ask in the group and a member is always ready to support.

Feeling down just notify the group and all your friends are always ready to cheer you up.

With Happy feet you become active and creative.

The health benefits are bountiful

With Happy Feet we have FUN, FITNESS and FRIENDSHIP.

Where has the time gone? Happy Feet One Year Anniversary!

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Happy Feet Walkers Club – June 21, 2016 – One Year Anniversary

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Can you believe it has already been one year since Happy Feet started?  I myself am amazed when I think of it! It seems only yesterday that Lakshmy and Namitha were asking me to join a small group of just a few ladies to walk and get healthy.  Honestly the first week it started, Lakshmy actually made collages for everyone since we didn’t even know how to make them 🙂 Sounds so silly now doesn’t it? Today we are all such pros at making collages, taking awesome selfies and walking miles on end.

The group itself has grown so much, that there are over 100 ladies all encouraging each other. Rather than just a few messages per day, sometimes there are 100 messages per hour!  New members are encouraged by veterans and I am so impressed to see newbie collages with 3-4 miles after their first few weeks of walking.  Challenges have ranged from best vacations to  most miles walked to Holi colors. Our Saturday walks have keep us all motivated with fun themed walks including sari walks, reindeer walks, Diwali walks, and even a 5K challenge.

imageOn the club anniversary,  Mayor Steve Chirico,  honored Happy Feet with a proclamation celebrating not only the accomplishment of the club but stating the June is Naperville’s Women’s Outdoor Walking month.  This is a wonderful honor not only for the club but for each and every single one of us.  Think back to your first day with the club, whether it was a year ago or only a few days ago, what have you accomplished since you started? Let us celebrate each accomplishment and make each and every walk count.  Walk faster,  walk farther, push yourself a little bit more every day to surpass your limits.  Every single walk is a chance to improve your health.

Thanks to Namitha and Lakshmy, our awe-inspiriting leaders, who have encouraged us all to be healthy and lead better lives.IMG_4476

Congratulations Happy Feet on our one year anniversary! Congratulations to each and every single club member for every accomplishment, whether it is small or big! Let’s walk every day, and every where and embody the spirit of the club!

 

Happy Feet…. Healthy you

As weather is getting better plan your days to include walks.

Have a buddy system. With that we have two advantages: you are mentally and physically happy and healthy.

When I walk I have a friend/s with me most of the time, it could be friend talking on what’sapp saying I can do it or friend/s walking with me. HFWC moto is Fun, Fitness and Friendship.

Do the walks for you. Adding miles to your mapmywalk or driving with mapmywalk is not what HFWC is about. It all about making us healthy and happy.
Every day I learn a lot from our happy feet members. I try to implement all positive things. That makes me very happy.
I feel happy walking with Vimiji and have learnt a lot from her. Once after our Saturday walk we were driving back home and Vimiji forgot to turn off mapmywalk. She immediately discarded it. She said, “If I save the data, it will be the wrong info. I did not walk that much to add to my miles.”

Remember we are doing walks to be healthy.

The advantages of mapmywalk for me is that it shows my pace, time and miles.

Slowly improving your pace should be your goal.
Don’t worry about the distance, it will follow as you improve your pace.

Make time for your walks.
Many friends have asked me how I can walk so much and don’t I have to take care of my family. My first priority is my family. But if I am not healthy and active then what example am I setting for my kids.

I plan my day. I wake up early to finish cooking and do my house hold work. I used to do all my work by myself and I used to be tired. Now I include my family and its fun. This gives me time for my walks.

Walk walk walk for HEALTHY YOU.

Why I like Mapmywalk Challenge

Why use Mapmywalk, I have Fitbit, Pedometer…… and so on are our questions.

There is huge advantage with Mapmywalk.

Here it goes……
First when I joined Happy Feet Walkers Club my Mapmywalk did not work.
So I did not take time to make it work. I just used pedometer for my walks.
With Fitbits and Pedometers, they track every step we take (even all the steps while cooking and going about our daily chores).

At that time I did not understand true meaning of dedicated walks.
Don’t get me wrong here, tracking steps is good. As they say to be healthy we need 10K.  So I kept walking and after a month I did not feel much of a difference.

Then came most distance walked challenge tracking with Mapmywalk.
I uninstalled and reinstalled it did not work.
Went to Nita for help, as she is the walking master of Mapmywalk.
Once I got my mapmywalk going I walked and tracked my miles. I noticed a huge difference.

Steps per day is easy to do… But taking the time to walk that made a huge difference.

I started enjoying the nature. Started to walk at lunch time and during kids’ activities.
Taking time to walk with family and friends.
These dedicated walks is what truly made a difference in my health.

Shubadha, Komal, Jyothi and Yogita started long walks and inspired me to do long walks.

Initially when I started I would walk 2 miles I would be tired.
Now during weekends I walk 8 to 9 miles and I am still ready to go.
Saturday Madhavi and I came to our morning walk with happy feet friends. We went home wanted to walk some more as the day was good. We walked and talked then Sri T joined and we kept going.

I never thought I would walk @ 4am.
Thanks to Mapmywalk challenge, Nita and Vimiji I started to walk in the mornings.
Morning walks are the best. Whole day you are charged.

Once Mapmywalk challenge started I put goal to myself to do 25miles a week and I was able to  achieve it.
Once we were back to steps I became lazy and not doing as much as I could. (I know its winter)

That’s why I am so happy that Mapmywalk challenge is back.

This challenge gets me to walk, track , feel good and look good.

Happy Feet Valentine’s Day Ball

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The hall shimmered with the colors of red and black, glitter, lights, and excitement as the attendees of the First Happy Feet Valentine’s Day Ball slowly entered for an unforgettable night.  As families walked into the hall, they were checked in and men were handed a red rose to be given to their ladies with words of love.  Ladies, gentlemen, and kids were dressed in elegant colors of pink, blue, black and red.  Ties, long dresses, glimmering jewels, and perfectly set hair helped set the mood for the evening.  Photographer Rajesh Nayak, took professional Valentine’s themed pictures for all the attendees, who eagerly stood in line so they could get one of a kind pictures.

Queens Namitha and Lakshmy reined over the evening, as appetizers of freshly made chat from Chataka Masti were enjoyed by everyone.  Kids then watched an exciting magic show, while adults chatted and took pictures. Selfies were rampant as the Happy Feet ladies took pictures galore so that they wouldn’t forget the memorable evening.

Then everyone sat down to watch the unbelievable  Happy Feet models walk the red carpet runway.  Archana, Vimi, Ritu, Garima, Radhika, Shweta, Sree, Rupa, Neelam, Ushasri, Jyothi, and Ramya all strutted down the runway to music of their choice in pairs and by themselves.  Beautiful videos showing the ladies’ collages and transformations played in the background.  Then the Nayak boys, Yash and Joesh introduced their mom, Namitha Nayak and the Ganesh boys, Vedanth and Advaith, introduced their mother, Lakshmy Ganesh.  All the boys gave heartfelt speeches that were full of pride for their mothers’ accomplishments.  Then Namitha and Lakshmy walked the runway accompanied by their supportive husbands, Rajesh Nayak and Balaji Ganesh.

After a delightful dinner of pav bhaji, palav and gulab jamuns, the DJ started the music and the Happy Feet ladies hit the floor. Swaying to the music and energizing each other, the ladies and their families enjoyed the night.  Daddy – daughter dances and mother – son dances, both brought sentimental feelings in everyone.  Then the Charged  and Ready group and the Up and Coming groups had a dance off,  with members coming out to dance and the crowds cheering for the winners.  Finally free dancing, with glow in the dark bracelets, fortune cookies, and surprise candy packs were handed out to everyone.  The evening winded down, and families slowly headed back home with feelings of joy,  love, and friendship.

Fun, Friendship, and Fitness was theme of the evening.   Happy Feet and  the Valentine’s Ball will stay in everyone’s memories for years to come!

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Valentine’s Day Ball – Love is in the Air

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As the first Happy Feet Valentine’s Ball approaches, the air is crackling with anticipation and excitement as ladies are buying dresses, discussing shoes, and figuring out hair styles.  How fitting that the first major family event for the Happy Feet Club is for Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love! Happy Feet  is all about love – loving ourselves, and loving our friends.

As many of you have noticed ,the unique atmosphere and philosophy of Happy Feet has been to love and support each other and never push each other down.  You will only see positive feedback on groups. During Saturday walks there are only smiles and encouragement given to other walkers.  The Valentine’s Ball has been no exception, with the sharing of pictures of dresses , ideas for jewelry and even places to buy undergarments!

Loving oneself is an ongoing journey for most of us.  On a day to day basis we all show our love for our families and friends, but we forget to love ourselves, regardless of our shape and size.  We get caught up in losing weight, and looking a certain way.  Happy Feet has reminded us to love our inner beauty and most importantly to respect our health.

The love and encouragement from our Happy Feet friends has allowed all of us to love ourselves even more and by loving ourselves more, we can show our love to our friends. It is a wonderful circle of love!

It is not chocolate and roses from loved ones that we are all looking forward to this year but the chance to show everyone that

“WE LOVE HAPPY FEET!!!”

One Single Step

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce

As 2016 starts let us remember that today is a blank page and we have the power to write amazing things each and every day.  Many times I have heard from ladies in our club that they didn’t submit a collage because they didn’t have enough steps.  But what they don’t realize is that every single day is an opportunity for us to improve.  If yesterday you only walked 1000 steps, then make sure today you walk 1001 steps.  Yes even that single step is an improvement over yesterday! One single step – that is all it takes.  Make a collage share it with your friends in your group, the encouragement from your team leaders and other walkers will propel you to take one more step the next day.  Then the day after take one more step, and the day after take one more step.  If every single day, we improve from the day before, just imagine where you will be by next year!  I never thought I would have walked 420 miles in 6 months! There were days where I only had 5000 steps and other days I had 12000 steps.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Goal Pusher or  Mellow Fellow – we all have bad days.  Days where we are just lazy, or kids are sick, or we have too much work….But  remember that the next day, we can do better by just adding one single step!

If you find yourself discouraged by not meeting your step goal one day – submit a collage at the end of the day anyway – let us inspire you to do more tomorrow.  Isn’t that why you joined Happy Feet? To be surrounded by positive encouragement and to know that we all have bad days and good days.

This year I encourage you all of you to have a goal of submitting a collage every day, whether you meet your personal step goal or not, and remember that every single day is an opportunity to improve from the day before.  Happy New Year! Let’s start walking!

My obsession with Happy Feet and Walking

Most people go on vacation to just relax, enjoy the scenery and spend time with their families.  But this past September as my family and I went on vacation to London, I was all about the steps and walking.  Happy Feet had become so ingrained in me that I did not want to miss the opportunity to not only get my steps in but to faithfully compete on challenges.  So I made sure my Fitbit was charged and as I woke up to leave for the airport I was ready.

I faithfully wore my Fitbit every single day, took pictures and through the magic of WiFi even uploaded collages at night.  Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels, the London Museum of Art, Madam Tussards, and the London Eye- all of these were places where you needed to walk in order to see them.  The walking never stopped!  Even at night as my feet ached, I found myself taking an evening stroll by myself through Trafalgar Square, just to get in more steps. We travelled to Scotland and my family wanted to relax in hotel  after walking all day in Edinburgh but I offered to walk down and get snacks for everyone.

It was crazy!  I was obsessed with Happy Feet!  But for once my obsession was healthy.  Happy Feet is not just about steps and challenges it is about making permanent changes in your daily habits to include walking.  Once the walking becomes a daily habit – you just feel like doing more and more because you start to feel healthier. It is cycle of improving health, vitality and happiness.

So as the holidays roll closer and you consider taking a vacation ,  I hope that you can also say that while you enjoyed the sights and experience, you found out that you too were obsessed about Happy Feet and walking!

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The London Bridge from the outside with the bridge road opened to let a magnificent sailing ship through.  Then we walked on the bridge across the top – Check out my floating feet and the road below! I can’t guarantee that all Happy Feet adventures will lead to flying but they might 🙂

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