Go Take a Walk

WalkOne of the reasons why I love spring so much is that it’s the nicest time of year for taking long walks. The weather is usually warm enough to leave the hat and gloves at home, but it’s cool enough to keep my body comfortable if I start to sweat from walking briskly or up and down hills.

(I envy those of you who can spend a lot of time outdoors year round! I know that not all of my readers live in places that have cold, snowy winters).

For those of us who do, though, the beginning of spring is a relief. Why should you go take a walk like I do?

Walking is a great way to watch the world wake up. Soon I’ll start to see flowers poking through the soil and buds appearing on trees. Any remaining pockets of snow will disappear, and the ugly, brown landscape will suddenly turn a brilliant shade of green.

The squirrels that were pleasantly plump last fall will probably look pretty slender these days. I always like hearing them chatter as I walk past them in the park. Hopefully it means they’ve found some food or have spotted an old friend on a nearby tree. I always like to guess what they’re saying to each other, especially when the noises they make suddenly grow loud.

These are a few of the many small changes that you can notice more easily on foot.

Walking clears your mind. One of my favourite things to do when I’m in a bad mood is to pick a direction and start walking. It’s difficult to stay grouchy when you see an impossibly fluffy little dog wiggling in joy as their owner takes them to to the park. In a more rural setting, I’d keep an eye out for wild animals instead of domesticated ones. You can spot all kinds of creatures if you walk quietly and pay attention.

I also like to observe the people, places, and items, around me. You can learn a lot about them in the few seconds or minutes that you spend walking near them. It’s fun to imagine where they might be going if they’re human. Non-human sights can also be entertaining. Last year I saw a bicycle that was covered in dozens of artificial flowers. I still wonder how the owner had managed to attach so many flowers to that bike and why they did it. It was gorgeous, but it didn’t look very practical for riding.

Walking is good, low-impact exercise. There are certain types of exercise I strictly avoid because of how much they hurt. The low-impact nature of walking makes it enjoyable for me, so I do it much longer and much more regularly than I would something that was painful or left me gasping for breath.

I wouldn’t invite everyone I know to dance, swim, hike, or  lift weights, or try yoga with me. Our fitness levels for these activities could be wildly different, and some of them work best for people who have roughly the same stamina and mobility.

It’s easier to play around with the difficulty level in walking. In a group, I usually walk less briskly so that everyone can keep up. When I’m alone, I walk as fast I possibly can without actually breaking into a run.

Either way, you’ll get your heart pumping and your muscles working. That’s a good thing!

I hope I’ve convinced you to go take a walk today. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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  1. I’ve found that walking is a great way for me to start getting back into shape after a break from working out. I love it when the weather is great (I HATE cold weather) and walking with a friend or two definitely helps the time go by. Such an easy, free way to stay in shape!

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