Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Walking is a simple activity that can be so beneficial on so many levels.

It's free and it's good for you.

It enhances your well-being: physically, mentally and spiritually.

Anyone (most people) can do it.

Let me ask though - when was the last time you took a walk?
Most of us live in cities these days - cities full of roads and concrete - cities where the pace of life is fast, fast, fast - and where the car is king. Walking to many is just a chore that has to be done - to get from the car park to the Mall.
I want to challenge that myth - I want to put forward the idea that walking can be enjoyed - and that walking (regularly) can have a tremendous influence on your life - physically, mentally, and spiritually. You don't need to march 12 miles in the wilderness to get these benefits (although you will if you do..). You can enjoy and benefit from walking even in an urban environment. In fact, walking can become part of your everyday life.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The benefits of walking

Walking really can enhance your life on so many levels. Here are some of the benefits:

1. It's great exercise - we all know that we should exercise - the benefits are well documented. Walking could be a good way to start out obtaining match. You can start small - you can start wherever you want really - and build up. 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise - three times a week - is often cited as the minimum necessary amount of exercise. Three 20 minute (reasonably fast-paced) walks a week achieve this. My guess is that once you get into walking you'll do more - but what a great way to get fit, lose weight, and enjoy your surroundings.

2. Walking is free - it doesn't cost a penny (or a cent) - you simply step outside your front door and away you go. No expensive gym memberships - no expensive equipment - all you need is you and a bit of motivation.

3. Walking is meditation - walking can be used as a meditation - you get into a rhythm, you feel the ground beneath your feet, the worries and stresses of your life slowly evaporate, and you become one with the Universe. Try it!

4. Walking is creative - Friedrich Nietzsche said "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" - I tend to agree - I often have some of my most inspirational thoughts whilst out walking.

5. Discover your local area - walking opens up your local area to you-you discover streets and neighborhoods that you didn't even know existed - right on your doorstep.

6. Re-connect with Nature - walks in the country are magnificent - there's nothing like the solitude and the silence. As human beings living in big cities, we have lost, to some degree, our connection with nature - walking in the country helps us to re-connect. You'd be amazed at how many beautiful walks are within easy reach of major cities - I live in central London and within 30 minutes to an hour I can be in the beautiful English countryside - I was amazed when I first discovered this, as I had simply assumed that the concrete went on for miles an miles and miles.

Walking is good for you physically - it's exercise. Walking is good for you mentally - it creates space, clears your mind, allows creative thoughts to flow. Walking is good for you spiritually - it can be meditative, and re-connect you with Nature (and yourself).

Give it a go!

Different walking ideas

Walking is simply the act of putting one foot in front of the other. Here are some ideas for different walks, of different lengths, in different environments.

1. Daily walking practice - look at your daily routine and build in some walking - get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way to the office. Decide not to take the car for any trips less that 0.5/1 mile from where you live. Whatever it is try and build some short walks into your daily routine - practice for 30 days - and hey presto! a habit is formed.

2. Explore your local area - start to walk around your local area and see what you can discover. Go down those streets that you haven't been down before. You'll be amazed at what you find. I walk a lot and even I was surprised when my wife told me she'd plotted out a walking tour of our local area one Sunday - there were streets that we went down that I had never explored - in 20 years of living here! It was a great walk - based on famous people's houses - my wife pulled it together using Google - simple.

3. Explore the countryside - to find out how close Nature really is to where you live - jump in the car or on that train and go enjoy the fresh air and serenity of Nature in her finest - it's closer than you think. The Web is full of sites detailing walking routes. If you live in or around London, like me, then try the Time Out 'Country Walks near London' books - priceless.

4. Take a walking holiday - not for everyone - but there are many beautiful areas that can be explored over a longer period of time - a week/2-weeks - on a walking holiday. These days planning for such an adventure is relatively straightforward - with routes and guides all available on the Internet. On the more popular long trails (I'm talking 100 miles) there are companies who will arrange accommodation and for someone to transfer your bags for you, each day, while you're walking - genius!

5. Walk the world - the ultimate in walking really - I have my eye on some of the really long trails in the US like the Appalachian Trail - that's some serious expedition - but hey, what an achievement and an adventure. When I get round to doing it I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Walking is walking - you choose the length and the scenery - enjoy it.
Just get out there and do it!
It's time for us to take our cities back from the automobile and it's time we re-connected with Nature and discovered all those beautiful places right on our doorstep. Let me know what you discover.

Walking is simple.

Walking is free.

Just get out there and do it!

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