Speaking of walking, the simple act of hoofing it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to getting places, and it’s certainly not the only sustainable mode of transportation, what with bikes, buses, and ride-share options. With all of these faster ways to go, the thought of walking can easily be glanced over, to the point that you might forget about just how possible, and good for you, it can be.
Walking what seems like a great distance to get somewhere is kind of like starting a long and intimidatingly thick book. Unless you’re really interested in the contents (unless the walk is scenic, takes you by some favorite shops maybe), it’s more difficult to jump into because motivation is less within your grasp. Sometimes it’s tempting to skim the pages (blocks) until you reach the end. But if we can push ourselves to get into it, the initially imposing prospect of reading it all the way through starts to seem more and more possible as we go along, until suddenly we’re taking the pages in stride and feeling quite capable. Try taking a longer walk then you usually would and you’ll see what I mean.
The drag about going on foot, of course, is the extra time that it requires. But thinking of walking as the quality exercise that it is can quickly justify the additional minutes you’ll use (walking is a healthy activity regardless of whether or not you have a destination, so when you do, it’s kind of a win-win). A simple daily walk has been reported to have a number of benefits, helping to maintain healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, strengthen bones, lift mood (perhaps especially applicable in a nature-filled city such as Seattle), and improve balance and coordination. And if walking is just too slow for you, taking it to the next level with a daily jog works just as well (and is perhaps more acceptable for the clock-watchers out there), making your heart stronger and increasing the capacity of the blood circulation and respiratory systems. For those like me who occasionally suffer from mild insomnia, running (and all exercise) can also help you sleep. So maybe we should stop holding our shoes back and let them reach for the stars (or that park, almost a mile away, that you’ve been meaning to check out).
If you so desire, share your walking/jogging adventures (or planned, future ones) below.