I knew what was coming. It was freezing outside! But once the sunshine finally cleared the mountains and my second coffee was down, I knew it was now or never.
Being cautious to avoid an official resolution I’d only break, I gave it as little thought as possible as I grabbed my warmest coat, fuzziest hat, keys, cellphone, pet my purring cat, then out the door I went.
Puffs of icy mist circled around my face as I caught my breath… yikes! It was colder than I thought! Quickly returning into the warmth of my home, I ran upstairs to grab an extra hoodie, double layered my jacket, then off I went again.
This dislike for walking, especially in the cold, was NOT going to stop me! My teeth chattered as I picked up the pace in an attempt to warm up.
My thoughts raced quickly over, “These resolutions are for the birds! Who actually keeps all these fabulous promises they make?! Ha, not me! This stuff never lasts! How long until I loose interest again?”
“Postive, postive, stay postivie… I can do this,” I coached myself. Then I wiped the internal battle from my mind, and started to see with eyes wide open.
Focusing on what was before me, my eyes started to take in every nook and cranny, viewing nature as art, instantly regretting that I hadn’t brought my camera. “Yeah, I’ll just bring it for tomorrow’s walk.”
Woa… did I just make a promise to myself to ‘enjoy’ this all over again?
Well, not only did I make good on that promise, I looked FORWARD to it! The next day, my camera came along for the ride, but instead of just one walk, I pulled off TWO. And know what? The second walk was even better than the first.
See, I use to be an avid walker. It’s like riding a bike. Anyone can do it. It’s just that the more you do it, the easier it gets.
So why walk? What exactly does it do for me?
Not only does it get easier, once the endorphins kick in, look out! It’s like drinking 3 strong coffees in one fell swoop. That natural high can last you an entire day.
Walking is a wonderful mind clearer. If you’re mentally attempting to work something out or the noise in your head is just too great, get out for a brisk walk. Keep moving until you resolve the issue, or allow yourself a timeout and listen to the crunch of the gravel instead. It really works!
How does one keep it up? There must be a trick!
Set a destination
An actual destination will help keep you honest. Whether it’s walking to the bank, or promising yourself a glimpse of your favourite area, reaching point B becomes imperative and you’re less likely to cheat.
Take a dog
I lost my beloved dog this summer, and just know, it’s easier when a dog is panting at the front door as a reminder. So, take your dog if you have one. Or borrow a neighbour’s. It’s just more fun.
Consider a paper route
My son took over a neighbour’s paper route last summer for a week and wow, that was a real walk. But getting paid to walk?! What a concept! I really missed it when we were done. (even if my son didn’t)
Make it fun!
If you’re a picture buff, bring your camera, and take some shots as you come across pretty landmarks. It puts the joy back into a mundane task when you incorporate something that you love doing.
I did a bit of reading, and stats say, in order to feel the most benefits from a walk, to walk at least 150 minutes a week, 10 minutes minimum at a time. You should ‘feel warm’, and be able to talk, but not sing. Interesting! Obviously picture taking slows the pulse down, so maybe walk harder and quicker after stopping.. (which is what I do!)
So what did I discover? Come along with me!
Icy leaves turning black, except for the golden chosen one.
Abundant evergreen trees, towering higher than a house.
Rusty relics, further gloriously rusting.
An aborted orchard, waiting for it’s next assignment.
Neighbour Janette, working a bottle drive. In the cold. For a good cause.
Festive holly and berries… why did I find this bush after Christmas?!
Tangled branches, in all their leafless glory.
Weathered mailboxes, waiting for a visit.
New trails, yet to be discovered. (when it’s not so cold!)
Do you see what I see?
Gorgeous, natural, nature as art. Now wasn’t that the best walk ever?
The beautiful part about walking is, most anyone can do it at nearly any age. You’ll find your endurance will increase, your mood will enhance, and you’ll let go of things that use to bother you much more easily.
Plus, who can say no to a pretty picture or two? I sure can’t!
Are you also a walker? How do you manage to keep your exercise enjoyable?
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