Whenever I’m asked about hobbies and things I love to do, walking is always at the top of my list. I have enjoyed walking for as long as I can remember, and whenever I’m on vacation, you’ll always find me being a walking tourist rather than taking the tour bus, every single time. I’m also a daily power walker. There is something about waking up and walking with the sun in the morning that sets the tone for my day, especially this time of year through the summer. The birds are singing, the breeze is cool, there are beautiful blooms to see, and there is something so peaceful about being out in nature first thing in the morning.
Did you know that a thirty minute walk everyday also has a host of health benefits? A brisk walk can prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It improves your mood, reduces stress, slows the aging process, and reduces the risk for osteoporosis. Plus, there’s no better way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
I walk year round and in all kinds of weather. I’ve often thought that I would have made a great mailman, in fact there were some winter days where I think the mailman and I were the only ones outside. I rarely walk alone though. I’ve always had a furry walking companion by my side. For twelve years it was my doodle Molly. Every morning she would get up and wait by her leash until it was time to go.
My doodle Sawyer is the same way. As soon as he sees my athletic shoes coming out of the closet, his whole body starts to wiggle in anticipation. A good walk is as important to the health of our pets as it is to us humans. At eight years old, Sawyer has maintained a healthy weight, is definitely calmer, and sleeps so much better after he’s had his daily exercise.
Sawyer’s ready to go!
The physical benefits of walking are great, however the mental advantages I receive from walking are so beneficial to my mental/emotional health. I am someone who is always battling mind chatter. Unfortunately, this constant playing of thoughts can mess with my sleep, causing a whole host of issues including increased stress and loss of concentration and creativity. There have been days that, because of severe weather or illness, I haven’t been able to get out, and I definitely notice the difference. For some reason, I’m always able to solve problems when I’m out walking as well as get my creative juices flowing. I’m a very visual person and enjoy checking out my neighbors curb appeal (and get ideas), and I always, always, always, feel better in mind, body and spirit after a walk. We also live near a bike path that is partially wooded and often see deer on the path, the occasional snapping turtle, and even a few coyotes. (Yikes!)
Now that we have longer days and warmer temps, I’m out twice a day. The morning walk gets my body and brain ready for the day, and the evening walk calms everything down for sleep, and yes Sawyer joins me for both. In fact, it’s about time for our evening stroll. I hope this has inspired you to get out for a daily walk. Your body and mind will thank you.