Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Why I Walk

In the day-to-day course of things I'm  more given to practicality than fuss, affordability than luxury, durability than show.  

If people were analogous to cars, I'd be a family sedan: practical and kind of boxy, with not a lot of chrome or fancy bits, mostly reliable but no speed-mobile.  

Like my grandparents' car back in the day, this family sedan would rarely leave the garage if not specifically required to do so.  I'd prefer to keep the mileage low.  No gadding around town for me.  

I'm no fan of exercise, but I know that if I am to maintain even a reasonable level of good health I need to move about.  

So I walk.

I actually enjoy it.  

(Never thought I'd say that about any form of exercise, but I do.)

Here are some reasons why walking works for me:

Walking requires no training. I need no coaching and I need not pay for expensive classes.

There are no rules.  There is no sports association telling me I must walk in a certain way, at a certain time, or with certain people.  I need not compete with other walkers.

Walking requires little in the way of special equipment.  A durable, well fitting pair of shoes and clothing appropriate to the weather are really the only requirements.    

Walking is gentle to my body. Even with balance problems and limited depth perception walking has a slow enough pace that I rarely sustain any sort of injury. I also know that I can walk without fear that my jiggly bits, improperly restrained, will move about enough to cause me discomfort.  

There are lots of places to go walking.  There are, quite literally, hundreds of kilometers of trail readily available to walkers in our valley. Even when I'm away from home, I can always find somewhere to go walking.  There are parks, streets, sidewalks, running tracks, beaches...Even shopping malls or long hallways will do in a pinch.

I can easily carry things with me while I walk.  A backpack affords me the opportunity to take my camera along on my walks, along with drinking water and any other small items I might need.  I can fit walking in around my other chores, stopping in at the library or grocery store along the way.
I notice my surroundings when walking. I have time to look around me and appreciate the small details in the landscape, to enjoy the scents of fresh air and flora, to hear birdsong, the chuckling of water over stone in a nearby creak, or the rustling of pebbles on the beach as they roll to follow the receding waves. I have an opportunity to see  and appreciate the wild creatures that are sharing the space with me.

Perhaps most important to me, walking provides quiet time.  It allows me time for reflection and requires little enough of my attention that I can let my mind wander.  My attention shifts away from the concerns of the day.  I do some of my best creative thinking while walking.
Walking makes me happy.  

Are you a walker too?  

Would a Facebook forum about walking be of interest to you?  

Please stop by my Facebook page or visit me on Twitter with your comments.