Exercise is probably one of the best medicines we have to combat bipolar. I walk. To be more precise, I powerwalk, meaning that I walk at a fast pace and I pump my arms parallel to the ground. I also carry weights to help strengthen my arms, and it adds resistance giving my heart just one more thing to work at. They’re not extremely heavy. For about 2 years, I carried weights that were only about 1.5 pounds, but I doubled that about 2 months ago.
I’m very fortunate to live about 1.5 miles from a beautiful park that is half a mile around. I circle it 3 times, and it takes me about 30 minutes to complete. The park has a variety of plants: palms, pines, bamboo, and many flowering trees that I don’t know the names of. There is a pond with some resident ducks.
The walk is often a bit crowded, and I have to vary my pace to pass people. But everyone there is very friendly, and we give each other a nod or a hello or an excuse me when necessary. Some days this is almost the only human interaction I get since I go home and then don’t leave. My isolation is another story for another time.
Lately, my walking has taken on a meditative quality. I practice a form of guided visualization for meditation, and I’ve found that on stretches of the walk where I can see there are no people coming at me that I need to pay attention to, I can slip into a bit of the visualization. I imagine a red line extending from the Earth up to outer space anchoring me, and then I feel a line of light descending from the heavens connecting me to something higher. These two serve to awaken my chakras, and I feel totally open and free and energized. I love it.
Now it’s time for me to go walk.