A simple walk. It’s more powerful than you might believe.

A simple walk

Fall is right around the corner here in the Northern Hemisphere, who doesn’t love the turning leaves

When was the last time you took a walk, no agenda, just a walk? It is pretty simple.

What you will need

  • comfortable pair of shoes
  • time, as little or as much as you choose
  • no special equipment or fashion
  • not much effort required
  • done alone or with others
  • COVID safe (unless there’s a crowd)
  • a SMILE!

Walking can help you in a number of ways

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking can improve our thinking and learning, sleep, and reduce anxiety. Who doesn’t want their mood improved or would complain that they want poor sleep.

Who wouldn’t want their mood and thinking improved or have better sleep?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Park Time

When I was in graduate school, my marketing instructor gave us a weekly assignment.  It was called “park time.”  We were charged with walking 15-30 minutes to help get our creative juices flowing so we could develop interesting and unique marketing perspectives for our class projects.

Years later when I was working at Stanford, I lived in an apartment (the year before retiring) that was about a 20 minute walk (my husband had already relocated for his new job), I was much happier walking to work versus riding my bike or driving.  I arrived at work in a good mood and ready to embrace the day.  Even on those cold and rainy days I found it invigorating.  I do recognize that it was a safe walk, the weather never dipped below freezing and there were tree lined walkways that were ever so pleasant. Your environment may be different.

The concept of park time is still in my toolkit to this day, 25 years later.  I guess that is why I enjoy running so much. It provides some alone time to reflect, plan and dream.

Admittedly, I did NOT enjoy walking my sick dog at 2 am around the block when I moved to Southern California to rejoin my husband. Although it was a relative safe neighborhood, creepy people and those leaving the bars are generally the only others walking around at that time. Not to mention skunks! That was not fun.

Pick your adventure

When you walk, you can pick your minds adventure.  You can gain perspective on something you are trying to deal with.  COVID has been a struggle for many and just getting out and away from news reports, the four walls or the dreaded zoom calls can give you relief.

Walk and learn.  Take that time to enjoy an audio book or podcast that you might not sit down to listen to.

Walk to connect. Is there a neighbor or friend that is close by to meet and walk?  It’s a great time to catch up while enjoying the out of doors.  It can be much more rewarding than a phone call, Facetime or a text message.

Walk to get some exercise and stretch out those muscles that have tightened up because you’ve been spending too much time sitting.

Walk to improve cognition.  In a University of Pittsburgh study of people with an average age of 78, showed that walking 72 block a week was enough exercise to protect the brain  (Exercise is Medicine, by Judy Foreman p. 113).

Walk to appreciate that you can.  You fill in the blank for what walking would do for you.

What is the adventure you will take when you walk? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Sandi Feaster

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