We’ve been doing it since we were babies. Sometimes referred to as “putting one foot in front of the other”. In New Zealand they call it “tramping”. It is walking. And I love it.
Next time you go somewhere, try walking. Walk to church…even if it means you can’t wear your nice shoes (you can always carry them with you!). Walk to the store and consider the time spent as an investment. Walk to the park. Walk to your friend’s house. Walk around the neighborhood just for the sake of walking. Walk from your work to lunch and back.
Reasons to Walk
Walking is good for your health. And it doesn’t have a monthly fee.
Walking diminishes/controls/eliminates certain kinds of depression.
Walking helps your children to develop and sustain an appreciation for nature.
Walking is socially radical. It allows you to meet people that you might otherwise not meet…specifically people who don’t have cars and therefore will also be walking. How many people do you know who don’t have a car? Time to meet some more!
Walking facilitates conversation with your neighbors. Say hi as you go by. Take a moment to connect in a disconnected world.
Walking is a devotional act. (There is a reason why they call it “walking with God”).
Walking is a great way to meet the kids in your neighborhood.
Walking helps regulate the pace of your life.
Walking creates enhances your sense of community. If enough people did it, it could create community. (Think of the vibrancy of city downtowns…)
Walking is a GREEN thing to do. Diminish your footprint on our planet.
Walking is the perfect antidote for what I call “house head”…those days when you’ve been inside all day and feel sluggish and headachy.
Walking creates an environment for conversation.
Walking can help raise money and awareness for a cause.
Walking creates an inner sense of spaciousness.
Some tips for success
Be safe. Like good ol’ Roosevelt said (in admittedly another context), “Walk softly and carry a big stick”. Take someone with you or walk in light, open places with lots of people.
Don’t feel that you have to walk fast so that you can get your heart rate up and not have to do cardio at the gym later on. Walk at whatever speed you (your body, your spirit, your mind) need to go. You’ll find that if you just start walking, your body already has a certain pace and rhythm it wants to go. Honor that.
Mix it Up A Little
Take your children. If they are young, take them in the stroller. Create a pattern that gives you time to walk and them time to get out and play. If they are older, how about a bike or some rollerblades?
Take your spouse.
Take a friend.
For us surburbanites, go for a hike somewhere beautiful.
Read Thoreau’s essay, “Walking”.
***This message is inspired by a particularly refreshing walk yesterday afternoon in which I left the house having reached the edge of insanity and fallen ingloriously over (Edna, did you hear the hysterical note in my voice?)…and returned home an hour later restored and in my right mind. I would also note that the walk had the same effect on my children.