When we went home to Canada earlier this year, the children and I did a lot of walking as public transport was very expensive and walking is a great way to explore and pay attention to your surroundings as you chat about the similarities and differences between two places. After we came back to Northern Ireland I wanted to continue walking for physical and mental health. In July I walked over 100 miles (188km), and August will walk over 150 miles if it doesn’t rain too hard. While spending so much time on my own, I have had lots of time to think…here’s what I’ve learned about walking daily.
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- You can use walking to lose weight. It isn’t a fast way to do it, but it is consistent.
- My clothes fit better – that’s good in some items, but for others it means they’re too big and I’m not quite the right size yet for the next size down.
- It’s free (except for the cost of shoes, which are ever-increasing and buying new clothes when the old ones no longer fit)
- Each tracker I’m using gives me a different step count and distance…but I have been using two because there’s always going to be one that fails due to battery power or some other tech issue.
- Walking takes a long time! Time I could be using for other things (like writing or making money or cleaning, or, or, or). But I should be able to get a little faster over time.
- Hills are not my friend (the same goes for stairs). I was raised in a flat city in the middle of the prairies; my muscles did not develop to accommodate steep inclines. But through perseverance, the hills are becoming slightly easier (but not yet the stairs).
- Walking in quiet areas away from traffic is the perfect time to listen to the audio books I purchased last year but have not had time to ‘read.’ I cannot listen to audio books at home because I become distracted while multitasking or my mind wanders to what I should be doing. While walking I can listen intently while still paying attention to my surroundings. Win-win!
- I had to purchase a new set of earphones so that I could listen to said audio books or music without calling attention to myself or annoying other people while listening on my phone’s speaker. I don’t like ear buds but don’t want the heaviness of headphones, and I found a great set that does work for me, and is also waterproof (a necessity).
- If you think you are alone and try to go over the dance routine you’re learning – you’ll be caught in action!
- Walking is not very fun when you’re in a super downpour for 2 hours and it takes days to dry your clothes.
- You will see many things along the way you may not have noticed previously. Plants, birds, architectural aspects…
- Walking is a good time to clear your head and either go over the things you need to, or to put everything out of your head.
- Walking is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the seaside.
- It’s also a great way to enjoy the beauty of the countryside.
- Sometimes the countryside also stinks after slurry has been spread on a field or someone has not cleaned up after $#*1 falls off their truck.
- Although walking daily is great exercise, it’s also bad for plantar fasciitis. My heel and Achilles tendon are so sore.
- Walking in old shoes may result in wearing holes in the backs of your expensive compression socks (purchased for said foot issues).
- Going for walks allows Phil and the children to spend some time alone without me there nagging at them to tidy up or do their work.
- You can meet some interesting characters while walking.
- And finally…I’ve learned I can walk until the cows come home (about 18 km or until my heel is too sore) but I cannot run. That resulted in doctors’ appointments and being told “don’t do that.” I may try again…but not this month!
Do you go for daily walks? What’s the best thing about it?