“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Walking rocks! Whether it’s on the beach, a hiking trail, or around my neighborhood walking always puts me in a good mood. Walking is pretty much the only “exercise” I do as I’m not one who enjoys gyms or health clubs. Of course I take a yoga class almost every day but as odd as it sounds I don’t count yoga as exercise. Now I know yoga is definitely in the exercise category but yoga is my passion, my art, my spiritual practice, and my means of self expression. I just can’t bring myself to put yoga in the exercise category since I enjoy it so much. I can’t wait to do yoga every day and if someone would pay me to practice yoga all day long I would probably spend most of my life on a yoga mat! But back to the subject of walking….
What form of exercise could be simpler than walking? We all know walking is good for us but I think many people don’t trust it to do what it needs to do to keep us healthy and in shape. There was a time in my life when I thought I needed to sweat on a treadmill every day or take up running even though I don’t enjoy it. When I finally decided that walking would have to do as my primary form of exercise, things began to change. I found walking helped me keep my weight down and it made me feel good. For me, walking can either be a highly sociable form of exercise or a great way for me to spend time with myself. I think sometimes we complicate what it means to exercise and stay healthy. Other than a good pair of walking shoes, not much more is required.
Back in the 80’s my Uncle Roy had a heart attack that almost killed him. At the time he was overweight and didn’t exercise much. After surviving such a devastating episode, he started to get serious about his health and one of the main things he did was to start walking an hour each day. He immediately shed tons of pounds and to this day he still looks great and more importantly he is in great health. Now of course he did make some changes in his diet but he still enjoys food and the occasional treats. Whenever I think I need to start some sort of elaborate exercise program I always think of Uncle Roy and how walking played a huge factor in turning his health around.
Walking can be done pretty much anywhere. Even if you live in a place with horrible winters, you can find a mall or indoor walking track. If you live in a place like I do with gorgeous weather all year round then there’s really no excuse to not get out and walk. Walking requires no special skills because we all know how to do it. No special clothes or equipment are needed. For those of us who strive to live our lives as simply and minimally as possible, there is no exercise more perfect than walking.
Some days I only have time to walk 30 minutes around my neighborhood. I either put on my I-pod and enjoy some music or I use the time to think and be with my own thoughts. Sometimes I go with a friend and we catch up and use the time as a social gathering. When I have more time I go hiking or to the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature. No matter where I’m at I can always find somewhere to walk!
If you’re one of those people who have been putting pressure on yourself to exercise and get in shape but haven’t done anything yet, why not consider a walking program? Set a goal of 10-15 minutes each day to start with and then build on it from there. See if it doesn’t make you feel better and if your health doesn’t improve. Remember the simplest things are usually the best and walking definitely falls into this category.So if you are in the market for an exercise that is simple, minimal, and effective, get out and take a walk!
(If you’d like to read more about living simply and changing the way you think about wealth please consider reading my book which is available in paperback or Kindle: REDEFINING THE MEANING OF WEALTH: DISCOVERING PROSPERITY AND FORTUNE IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE.