When was the last time you went for a walk? Yes I know it’s winter here in the northern hemisphere where most of my readers are and that the days can be cold. There are big name companies like Under Armour, Columbia and Helly Hansen that specialize in keeping us cold climate people warm so don’t let your duds be the limiting factor.
Walking is so good for your heart and soul that it should be mandatory! When man kind were roamers on the planet walking was essential but now we have truly become too sedentary. You don’t need to read another study to know that. What you need to do is figure out how you personally can address it. I’m not sure why I decided this had to be my blog today but I know that my daily walk balances out my day and my life in a huge way.
Now having dogs makes it a requirement to go outside every day in all kinds of weather and go for a walk. Yes every day even when it is -55 with the wind chill although none of us last long those days but we go. I recognize that, especially in this location, that walking comes with some inherent issues. One is seasonal and that would be icy conditions. The second is even more deadly and that is vehicles but that doesn’t mean you only walk in the summer on the trails. You just have to walk smart but you have to walk. You could always mall walk if you live in a city and are hesitant about being outside. Or if you were like my mom in a small town, you could walk in the seniors centre or the rink. Then as soon as the weather turns around head outside and clear your head.
It turns out it’s also good for your soul and I am sure that there are studies that show that as well. You connect to the environment with all your senses and become engaged outside of yourself. This in turn takes away some of the mental clutter upstairs and allows for a clarity that isn’t there when we are connected in our multitude of ways. When you walk with your spouse or your children it becomes a great time to have an in-depth conversation.
My long term goal when I retire is to walk 5 km 5 days a week and 10 km 2 days a week — when I am 80 my body will thank me for it! While I am still at work I will continue to carve out longer and shorter walks as the day and the circumstances dictate. The studies show how the many reasons why this is so important.
So find a friend, borrow a dog, take along your kids or some music or go totally solo but go. Make it a goal to get outside and get walking this year. I’m not against the gym or the pool but walking is easy on your body, cheap and accessible. Your heart and your soul will thank you.