Now to Love
Beryl Hodgetts, 74, had just retired when she decided to join a Heart Foundation walking group – a decision that would lead her to meet her now husband, Max, 80. "Max and I sung in the choir at a church that we both go to," Beryl tells Now to Love. "We didn't really know each other before that, but when Max and I both got invited to a choir get together, we just started talking."
It was then that Beryl, who is a widow, told Max, a new widow himself, of her love of her new walking group and invited him along to walk with her. The pair took their first stroll on Valentine's Day, six years ago. "We ended up walking together and got to know each other and the relationship developed from there," Beryl says.
One year later, Beryl and Max solidified their love with the ultimate gesture: marriage. "We got married the following year after our first walk on Valentine's Day," she says. "We had the wedding where we live now — we got married in the bush — and had an afternoon tea with family and close friends."
What Happened Next
"Meeting Max has just opened up a whole new life for me," Beryl says. "I'd never lived in the country or near the bush, so it's opened up a new world for me. I have young grandchildren, so we now have time for my little grandchildren, which opens up a grandchildren world for Max, whose own grandkids are grown up and married."
But aside from forging a love that's given each of them a renewed lease on life, Beryl's commitment to her health is almost as strong as her adoration for Max, which is why she's urging others to look after their heart in more ways than one this Valentine's Day. "Walking is exercise that's good for your bones, but it's also very social," she says." My group and I have coffee after our walks, and we sit and chat. The main thing is meeting up with people and getting out of the house, particularly when you've retired."
What walking can do for your health.
Not only is walking is free and good for your heart health, it is also proven to be a great way for people to meet their exercise goals. "So instead of staying at home and pottering around your garden, [when you're walking,] you're laughing, you're talking — it's good for your whole being," Beryl says. We agree!
This post was written by Ellie McDonald. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.