Why it is a profitable activity.
Walking seems like such a passive activity but it has proven to be of immense benefits. It did occur to me so much until this lockdown happened.
Most of us know that walking, especially if it is brisk is a weight-bearing exercise that not only strengthens the bones and muscles, it can burn calories and improve your blood flow resulting in better cardiovascular health.
In addition to keeping your weight or reducing it depending on intensity, it elevates your mood due to the release of feel-good hormones or endorphins, improves your balance, and manages other conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol.
Many are still not doing it due to a lack of time /commitment. I think it is due to a lack of priority. One needs at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily to reap the benefits. Otherwise, it would translate into a longer walk.
Living in a frenetically paced world, walking is undervalued for its contributions to our overall being. I used to see it as a perfunctory activity, to be done and get over with.
With the Covid-19 situation, becoming housebound daily for several hours over the last few months began to take a toll on one’s psyche. The aches and pain from sitting at the computer for long hours started to annoy.
At 6.30 pm, I strapped on my mask and got out of the house.
I have been doing daily pre-sunset walks for months now and have realized the benefits.
Pre-Covid19, I have never looked at my neighbors’ houses with such curiosity.
Now, I noticed and began to enjoy the different architecture of each house, their lightings, plants, even the materials used for their construction. Many of these ideas could be incorporated into my house during our coming refurbishment.
The trees and the plants were so lush. We are indeed blessed with the beauty of nature and it is heartening and inspiring to see that people are very house and garden proud.
Walking can be educational. During pockets of rest, I whipped out my phone and used the apps on the smartphone to identify plants and flowers. It is an amazing way to learn about them.
In addition, I have noticed that quaint cafes and eateries have sprung up without my realizing them. I was impressed by their showcases and their ambiance that I told myself I would be back to spend a nice afternoon there to chill. Life around my residence was so vibrant but I was spending too much time at work!
A gelato parlor that was allowed to open also enticed me. Strolling along, licking my ice cream, and enjoying the views, hmm what a life! My life-long dream of opening a gelato counter was also rekindled.
I was happy to stumble upon a small Italian grocery shop where I found some fresh pasta and other high-grade ingredients that I could easily source for my Italian dishes. Why queue at the Supermarket when the price differences are not so significant?
I also chanced upon the blue pea flower bush along the road. With this special flower, I can make a caffeine-free tea or the liquid made from soaking this flower could be added to rice where it would become pastel blue, smell fragrant and taste awesome. But more significant is that Blue pea can be used to treat inflammation, conjunctivitis, induce brain health, and increase vitality.
There was no more need to go online to purchase it anymore. Some things in life are free!🥰
An important finding is that walking helps to boost creative thinking. It must be the increased blood flow as I always have eureka moments ( not just in the bathroom ) during walking. Many of my ideas surfaced during my walks and I would key them instantly into my smartphone. Writing this article for the Medium was conceived during my evening walk.
A Stanford study found that walking increased Creative inspiration by an average of 60% versus sitting. It is believed that walking if its well-paced, sparks connections between brain cells. The right rhythm induced thinking resulting in better working memory.
So, Walking is a brain elixir besides protecting your body’s health.
More credence to this claim comes from the fact that top thinkers all incorporate walking into their daily routine. From creatives like Charles Dickens and Hemingway to Scientists like Darwin and Einstein. These great minds have one thing in common- they all take long walks.
Long ago, the significance of walking probably arose since Roman times.
Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher, conducted his lectures while walking the grounds of his school in Athens. An old fresco depicted Aristotle and Plato walking while discussing topics with their followers, holding books in their hands. The students were also called peripatetics meaning walkers.
Beethoven was known to take several breaks during his typical workday. Regardless of the weather, he would carry his pen and music sheets to write on in case inspiration struck.
Frederick Nietzsche was a philosopher, composer, poet, and author. He once wrote that “ all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” He would set off for a two-hour walk every day with a notebook.
There are many famous people with prolific works also related to suing walking as a routine or rest.
This seemingly banal activity has many different purposes from stimulating creativity to calming our nerves to preventing diseases. So get up, go for a walk, and awaken your inner genius.