My father used to joke that anyplace is “walking distance” if you leave early enough.
A walk outside is one of the easiest, cheapest, most accessible ways to get healthy, stay fit, clear your head and so much more.
We’re meant to move. And if you’re not getting enough exercise, there’s very little excuse for not at least making walking a part of your “stay healthy” routine.
It may seem weird to put some “ground rules” in place for something you’ve been doing unconsciously since you were a toddler.
But I’ve found that my daily walks help with some structure.
So I’ve come up with a short list of “rules” to follow.
You might find them useful.
So here we go:
Walk frequently, and do it outside. I’ve never been a treadmill guy, and I find that fresh air, changing sights and the sounds and smells of the outdoors are as helpful to me as moving my body.
Consider leaving your phone at home. Sure, I like to listen to music or podcasts sometimes. And if I’m in an unfamiliar place, having a way to find my way back makes keeping my phone on me smart. But being completely unavailable and “in the moment” is so helpful, I leave my phone as often as I take it.
If you’re feeling stuck, walk a familiar route. I have a loop I take a couple times a week, whether I’m walking or running. Knowing where I’m going puts me on autopilot. I find I spend moments on these walks working over problems in my head and it gives me the necessary space to do it.
If you’re restless, go somewhere new. Every life needs novelty. And not long ago I found a park I didn’t even know was near my neighborhood, when I walked out the door not knowing exactly where I was going, or how long I’d be gone. (I met a few turtle friends along the way and yes, I was walking faster than them.)
Walk with a companion sometimes. I find evening walks with Karen are good for catching up on the day. And my dog Ellie never likes to be left behind.
But sometimes, go solo. If I’m angry or sad or need some creative spark, I go it alone. It’s a nice break, and it helps me think. Plus, I can go wherever I want for as long as I want.
Not a ton of rules. But some things that have helped me enjoy some regular exercise, clear my head, and get my blood flowing.
What are your plans today? Do they include a walk?
And if not, what’s your excuse?
Get out there and take a walk – I can assure you that you’re far more likely to regret not going than come back home and wish you hadn’t gone.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.