“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”
-Karle Wilson Baker.
It is the umpteenth time I put on my sweatpants and T-shirt, all set for my morning walk. Every day is a new day as I look forward to my tryst with nature. I find myself reaching for my walking shoes with a childlike joy. This habit of mine started as leisure strolls in the neighborhood with my 2 year old strapped in a stroller. That was some 15 years ago. Since then I have been on a roll, thanks to my walking partners – friends, and family and above all love for nature.
There is nothing more healing than going for a walk/jog or hike. You always come home with a sense of well-being than you started in the first place. Swift walk not only burns calories, it also improves metabolism and keeps you active for the rest of the day. It is quite therapeutic and could serve as a great antidote for mental and physical ailments. Nature is a true problem solver. It is a silent listener that reminds you to tread with thoughtfulness and care, to tackle all problems of the day.
It is sad that people are so caught up in the daily rut they forget to acknowledge simple gifts of life. More and more people are walking away from nature than walking in it. Studies have proved that walking outdoors is a big stress-buster. Thirty minutes of daily walk is said to have immense effect on people’s stress and increases their productivity.
Here are some tips that can help you find your primitive self:
- Set aside at least 15 minutes a day to be out in nature, mornings if possible. It helps to breathe in fresh, unpolluted air.
- If walking is not your forte, engage in other outdoor activities like jogging, biking, or swimming.
- Utilize the break time at work to go on a walk, either alone or with a partner.
- Give yourself a treat (not food) for completing your target. It is a big achievement for those who can’t unhook from their gadgets and take time off for simple things.
- Keep a monthly or weekly goal of walking certain miles. Maintain a log to keep track of your progress. Pull in a group of like-minded people who would like to join, so you can check on each other.
- Find friends or walking buddies who are ready rain or shine!
- Try to be mindful while walking, feel the earth, enjoy the breeze, observe life around you and smile.
- Everything and everyone matters; do care.
My walking explorations that started as short walks around the neighborhood streets led to more detours into the wooded trails and eventually to the walking and hiking trails in and around the city parks and lakes. Every out door endeavor got only more varied and enjoyable! I can vouch on the benefits of this lifelong indulgence in walking, to my good health and cheerful disposition (well, most of the time)!! Today, as I am walking with my two teenage daughters, I think to myself – it’s been a delightful journey from their stroller days to their youthful strides.