The topic of walking is right up my alley (picture me strolling along – LOL) because I’ve always walked. Okay, I hear you … of course you’ve always walked. Started when you were about ten months old, or so your mother was fond of saying. True enough!
I’m using the above photo because I love it! But it is oh so misleading for 2021. That cutie-pie is now 9 years old! Wow, time flies. And when I head out to walk today, it will be steady North Island rain on my horizon. Certainly not those sunny days of yesteryear and place.
When I say I’ve always walked, I mean walking for the pure joy of walking. Most days of my life, wherever I have lived or stayed, on whatever shore I have washed upon, I find myself heading out the door for a walk. It’s exercise, it’s a mental health break, it’s a creativity boost. My thoughts scramble around as my feet move to the beat of their own drummer. Somewhere, along the beaten track, all those thoughts fall into productive order. I breathe deeply and my steps become one with rutted paths, country lanes or city streets; I experience the beauty of trees, green grasses, squatting shrubs in every shade of the rainbow; I sense the pull of oceans, rivers, lakes, streams and canals; I marvel at the sight of a squirrel bounding up a tree, a Stellar’s Jay whisking out of sight, or a snake writhing along the path.
Here’s a couple of pics from a great walk I had with this granddaughter (circa fall 2020)around a new man-made lake near their home in High River, Alberta. Fun times. Walks with grandkids might be some of the best kinds.
The other day, I tuned into Dr. Brain Goldman’s podcast – The Dose | CBC Podcasts | CBC Listen What are the Do’s and Don’ts of Getting the Most out of My Daily Walk. According to Dr. Goldman and his guest, Dr. Jane Thornton, walking is one of the most meaningful things you can do to improve your health. It delivers a powerful range of physiological, cognitive, and mental health benefits. Dr. Thornton goes as far as to prescribe walking for her patients. Actually getting her prescription pad out and writing it up. She talks about how patients are motivated by the written words. It gives them permission to carve out the time it takes to walk.
I think Dr. Thornton should include the above visual with her written prescription for walking. What an amazing progression from a mere three minutes of strolling to reduce your blood pressure to 40 minutes to reduce the risk of heart disease, to a more ambitious 90 minute hike to brush away those depressive thoughts.
Walking – it’s all good