by Marc Richute
To be clear, I enjoy many methods of moving around; running, biking, roller blading, snow shoeing, even using a Pogo stick. I’ll volunteer to be the recipient of a piggy back ride if necessary. However, I find the most satisfying way to get around is by walking. A leisurely walk is more than just advancing one foot in front of the other. For example, the expression “stop and smell the roses” roughly translates to “slow down and appreciate things before life passes you by”. It’s no surprise that as a foraging herbalist I view this phrase as a way of life. In my opinion it is much easier to walk by a field and patiently identify your foraging surroundings versus biking along at an exceptional speed and missing the field entirely.
I recognize there are countless studies about the benefits of walking; personally I will never have the time to read any of them. I will most likely be out walking, and I see absolutely no need in clicking a link or opening a page telling me I have to walk (except this one). Like most humans I learned to walk at an early age and never looked back. The more walking is integrated into a daily lifestyle, the more routine and easier it will become. However, we all share the same excuses for not taking a peaceful stroll around the block; long hours at the job, kiddie carpool, fatigue, and so on. But at the end of the day the word that sticks out is “excuses”. We all must find the time to walk.
The idea of walking is simplistic, yet the ways in which people can achieve it is different. If you live in a city you may have to spend more time walking to get to work (to and from the bus, train, transfers, more buses, etc.…). Conversely if you live in the suburbs your morning step count may only be walking to your car. Then of course there is the amount of time each individual spends moving around at work. After work, if you live in an area that has sidewalks you are probably more likely to hit the cement then someone who lives near a road with no shoulder.
The power to walk is an often overlooked attribute of humans. Clearly some walk more than others, and others want to walk more. Somewhere in between lies the balance. Personally I feel better after walking several miles a day, contrasted with the days when it’s raining and I’m (almost) stagnant. Ultimately the objective should be to accomplish as much walking as possible daily. Obviously the total mileage will vary from day to day, so pay close attention to the weekly results. You may be amazed at how much you completed. A successful path that leads to achievement is often filled with barriers of excuses. Minimize the roadblocks along the way, feel better, and lessen your dependence on others to make you move. Walk on!