There is something to be said for the simple act of walking. We were built to walk. It comes naturally for most of us. Walking can easily become deep meditation if you just let yourself get quiet and pay attention to what is going on around you. No destinations, no goals, just one foot in front of the other until your legs (or your dogs) tell you they’re ready to go back.
It’s hilly here, and flat surfaces are rare, so when we go out to walk we wear good shoes and prepare to use our big leg and gluteal muscles. There’s nothing like walking to build up your legs, and your “sitting cushions.” And once your walking muscles are strong, your back and belly follow, not to mention your whole cardiovascular system. Over time walking can be the best exercise for most of us. I have taught aerobics as well as yoga and tai chi, and used to ride my bike as a primary form of transportation when I was in my 20’s. All of these activities are good for strength and endurance. But walking doesn’t feel like exercise to me. It just feels like I’m doing what I should be doing. The fitness comes as a bonus.
The simple act of walking outside can change your mood as well as your body. Got a problem? Take a walk. You’ll forget about the problem, then you’ll come up with a different way of looking at it. And you don’t even have to give it much thought. It’s like walking, and the necessary breathing that goes with it, cleans out your lungs and your veins, and opens up the space in your head so you can see more clearly.
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