Recently, I walked a lot. Like not just a little bit of walking, but a LOT. I walked all over the Whole Foods campus in Austin, TX. I was down there for a meeting and I walked everywhere.
I’m a healthy guy and I work out a lot, but that week of walking reminded me of what a great and free exercise option that walking is. Sure, it’s not going to give you big muscles or enable you to lift heavy bags of cement, but walking is a fantastic cardio option that we just plain forget about.
Maybe because walking seems kind of boring. You’re just walking. It’s not even running. It’s just one foot in front of the other. Anyone can do it. How pedestrian. (Haha! Get it?)
But seriously, walking is low skill and maybe that’s part of its blasé reputation. Walking is simply not hardcore like CrossFit or tough like the barbell or even sleek like swimming. You don’t have to learn and practice and sweat and bleed. You just walk.
And maybe that’s exactly why walking is pretty cool. It’s practical, effective and simple. You don’t need anything to do it. No training, no special shoes, no belts, no wraps, no coach. Just you and the ground, like it’s been since the beginning of time. We don’t know everything the cavemen did, but we know for certain that they walked.
Also, did you know that walking can help boost your immune system and ease joint pain? Walking can also help us to think: “A small but growing collection of studies suggests that spending time in green spaces—gardens, parks, forests—can rejuvenate the mental resources that man-made environments deplete. Psychologists have learned that attention is a limited resource that continually drains throughout the day. A crowded intersection—rife with pedestrians, cars, and billboards—bats our attention around. In contrast, walking past a pond in a park allows our mind to drift casually from one sensory experience to another, from wrinkling water to rustling reeds.”
So, the next time you find yourself with an extra 30 minutes, hit the trail or the sidewalk and just walk. Tuck a bag of Mangos into your pocket and you’ve got a yummy snack for when you’re done. But, most of all, you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to walk and how fresh your mind feels afterward. Walking: the new old way to get somewhere. Why not?