Take a Hike!

Sorry, did that sound rude? I mean, try to incorporate a little more walking into your life and see if that makes you feel better. But that’s not a catchy title!

Last year I took part in a charity midnight walk over 13 miles, and in preparation walked most days. One of the side effects of the walking was time to think but it was also helping me in other ways.

The repetitive activity of walking, studies show, triggers the body’s relaxation response and so helps reduce stress; at the same time even a 10-minute walk provides an immediate energy boost and improves mood. Nietzsche wrote, ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. Research supports him; exercise-induced brain chemicals help people think clearly. I often encourage people to walk during breaks in my courses.

And then the snows came and I lost my habit of walking several times a week. Snuggling down by the wood burner was far more attractive!

Sometimes it seems easier to break habits that are good for you rather than the ones we wish we could lose! I am now resurrecting the walking habit (no snow, lighter evenings, should be a doddle!).

Walking isn’t an option for everyone, but there will be things we can all do to enhance our time to think and quality of life. What good habit would you like to rediscover this week?

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by

3 Responses to “Take a Hike!”

  1. Ros Baynes says:

    Thanks for the call to action, Jane. I have been very bad recently about leaving all the early morning dog-walking to my husband. I really enjoy it if I can just get myself out of bed in time. Will do better!

  2. Elizabeth Wilder says:

    All ice and snow here in PA, USA right now. (I know – one excuse is as good as another).) This is one habit I need to grab. Thx.

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