One of the best things you can do for your health and well being is to get outside and walk. Here are my thoughts on the subject:
1. It gets you moving. For many people, most of our day is spent sitting. At a desk, in class, at meals, in the car, on the couch watching TV or reading a book. Some of those moments are necessary, but it seems that our bodies were made to move, not sit all day long. It feels good to stretch your legs and put one foot in front of the other. A sedentary lifestyle is not going to benefit you in the long run.
2. Enjoy nature. There are so many beautiful things outdoors. If you live near a trail or a park where you can walk among the trees, leaves, rocks, ferns, and hills. You are blessed. There is nothing better than wandering a trail through the woods. Walking a paved trail or hiking in the mud you are out there with the natural world. Seeing the trees first hand allows you to think about our world on a bigger level. It may help you care about our forests and natural resources. Because if you go often enough you can watch the changes in the season and the little details of the growth of a bush or the buds on the trees. It becomes your trail and your woods and your trees.
3. Breathe in the fresh air. If you live in a house and work indoors you are breathing a lot of the same, stale air. It get cycled in vents and swished around from opening doors and picks up a lot of dust and weird things from other people. Breathing outdoor air keeps you fresh. Sniff a plant. They give off that beautiful oxygen that we need to keep going.
4. Let the sun shine. The sun is not evil! Let the sun shine on your skin. Get a little color from the warmth of the rays. Our bodies are designed to greet sunshine with warm acceptance. We convert those sun rays into Vitamin D which we all so desperately need. You don’t have to go out and get burnt, but you also don’t have to slather sunscreen on your self every time there is a sunny day. You are probably doing more harm than good if you do that.
5. Leave your iPod at home. Music is wonderful. Talk radio and podcasts can be inspiring. But letting your thoughts wander as you look at the world around you is better than you think. Look at a tree and wonder how old it is. Think back on memories good or bad. Set some goals. Let the colors of the outdoors spark your imagination.
6. Slow down. Allowing yourself some time to walk in the morning/afternoon/evening gives you some time to relax. You can walk fast or slow, burn a few calories, make it your own. The simple act of taking time to get outside and walk gives you time to distance yourself from the busy-ness of life. Reflect on what’s important or just space out for a little bit. You can stop and smell the roses as you go. It helps you simplify and recognize what is important to you.
These are just some thoughts on getting outside and walking. My husband and I have committed to walking/hiking trails every weekend (weather permitting). We prefer our walks to be out on trails at local State Parks. It gives us time together and away from the stresses of work and home. We either discuss our lives in detail, or we don’t talk at all. We find peace and closeness when we are out among the trees. Sometimes we discover interesting things.