Walking is and always will be my primary escape from the conundrum of everyday life.
I’m fortunate I have countryside aplenty on my doorstep, and I don’t need an excuse to get walking; it’s also the most underestimated corrective and mind-body form of exercise.
Overlook it at your peril.
Friends ask, how to start exercising?
Answer: exercise and gym work BUT walking from 30 minutes a day and more extended walks at the weekend.
If my body has enough exercise, I don’t stop; I walk.
Injuries aside, including a knee and Achilles operation, I discovered walking back in 2014 when injuries forced me to put running on hold and find an alternative.
Cross trainers and elliptical workouts are good, but walking is therapeutic and burns calories.
A form of medicinal healing, walking is a time to clear my head, solve problems, and see things.
Taking one step at a time is like unfolding the answer to a question.
The first mile and my mind is like a washing machine—thoughts jumbled in my head, a myriad of musings and perturbations.
As I break into my stride, all thoughts are vanquished, and a sense of calm resides over me.
I get lost in the reverie of my surroundings.
Walking slows down my over-thinking, enables mindfulness and helps process problems unhurriedly.
Aside from the health benefits like improved circulation and muscle tone, walking creates a meaningful connection with nature.
I walk regularly. Even when I walk the same route, I find new things to see, unsolved mysterious, new cloud formations and smells and nothing bores me because there’s always something new to see.
I live in a sleepy village, and country walking doesn’t require me to get into a car to find a footpath or fields to tread.
Although muddy shoes are commonplace, walking eases the soul and, when all fails; a walk solves the problem, clears the head and adds colour to pallid cheeks.
I rarely see more than two people past overgrown hedgerows, through muddy woodlands and over flat meadows.
Maybe a perfunctory hello and a platitude to the weather and then solitude.
I walk and smile. Being outside with nature listening to the birds sing, knowing that life is busying itself around and underneath me is stimulating.
Under the hard soil I tread, life is hard at work, and as I walk, I familiarise myself with cloud formations.
I love the weather changes come rain or shine; I never need an excuse to walk and get out of the four walls of my office.
Walking is one of the most overlooked forms of exercise and is underrated for its power on the mind and body.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”. Friedrich Nietzsche
And he’s right.
How many times have I had a work issue to resolve, and I can’t seem to come up with a solution. I walk, and then bingo, the problem resolves itself.
Every time I go for a walk, there is a new experience, sensation, or smell.
Walking is very auditory-visual and the sounds of nature offer more than any set of expensive earphones.
I’ve dumped them in preference for listening to nature.
When I consciously decide to take in what is around me, it surprises me how much I miss on the same walk.
A badger set, the smell of foxes, a robin perched on a low branch unphased by my approach.
Branches creak in the stiff breeze, signs of new life above and below, a hint of spring momentarily in the air.
The hint of rain and mud squelching under my boots are all part of nature’s gift; we need to open our eyes and take in her rich tapestry.
Next time you are out on a walk take the time to enjoy and appreciate it.
Whether you live in the countryside or a big city, there are always discoveries.
New pathways or routes, a park to walk through, all waiting for discovery are my way of helping me recharge and destress.
Respite from domestic drudgery and contumacious teens walking helps me tune into my surroundings and appreciate what I genuinely have.