Mental Benefits of Walking

nightwalk

Walking is a very efficient process, and doesn’t require that much energy/burn that many calories per hour. Even if you are injured, isolation exercises or swimming would serve you better.

Unless you are very overweight or elderly, walking isn’t great exercise.

If you live in the United States, it is not too difficult to buy a vehicle. You can even buy one with no money upfront(they’ll get you later though). Driving is infinitely faster and easier than walking.

Walking is good for your posture, if you sit around a lot, as most of us do. It also exposes you to the elements, which is good for your health, however that is not the primary reason I highly encourage everyone to walk places.

I’ve always walked places. At first because I was poor.

Then because the weather was uncooperative.

Then because the bicycle repeatedly got flat tires(Tribulus terrestris or “goatheads”).

Now I walk because:

It makes you more creative.

It’s already been determined that exercise is the best Nootropic.

The first thing you will notice when you start walking is your mind starts throwing out random thoughts. It happens whether you are listening to music or not.

When you start thinking about something, you can’t even hear the music, and then, when you stop thinking, the music comes back on.

Your mind throws out one thought, which leads to another, which leads to a memory you have, which leads to how you felt at that time, and before you know it every part of your brain is ablaze.

Walking is a Meditation

And it’s been the most effective type or reflection and problem-solving for me. That and long-distance running/cycling.

When you are walking, you have to listen to your thoughts, and the longer the walk the deeper you can go into your mind.

Long walks put you one on one with yourself. There’s no one asking you to do something, no entertainment of any sort. And to avoid distractions, I usually turn on airplane mode on the cellular phone.

Where to walk?

Anywhere you haven’t been, really. Every town I’ve lived in, I’ve walked to the North, East, South, and West borders, just for the heck of it. To see What was going on around me and know the place that I live.

Just go a few blocks left, and the next night a few blocks right, and gradually figure out where everything is.

It’s one thing to look at online maps, and a whole different thing entirely to know where everything is physically, by having been there.

I could never understand how someone can live somewhere, and after a while not know the entire town. Only go to work, grocery store, bank, and general store, for years and years. Now that is real insanity.

Know your Area.

Preferably, find somewhere scenic to walk, so you can enjoy the view. Take the scenic route. For me this was a trail that ran north through town.

It wasn’t anything special, however it was the best place to walk, as there were no motor vehicles or really any other people out there. You might see a jogger run by, but it wasn’t frequent.

I usually walk in the evenings. It’s quiet, and not as hot as during the day.

If you walk through the woods or mountains they call that hiking. If you carry a pack, they call it rucking. If you live out of that pack, well, that’s backpacking.

What about the distance?

Doesn’t really matter. At first just a few blocks. Then a few miles. Then a few hours. All depends on how far you feel like going, how much time you have available, and how familiar you are with the surrounding area.

Walking distances go something like this:

<2 miles = Short

3 to 4 miles = Medium

7+ miles = Long

The longer the walk, the more it teaches patience. First time I went for a 10 mile walk, I underestimated the endurance it would take – mentally.

As you begin walking places:

You begin to feel confident you can get there, no matter if your car breaks down, your bicycle gets a flat tire, or the weather is bad.

If you know it takes you 30 minutes to get to the nearest grocery store, then when your car breaks down, you can just walk over there and buy a few necessities, throw them into your pack and walk back.

If you live less than 4 miles from your work, then you can always get there, no matter what.

Walking is such a basic function, yet many people are moving away from it. More and more people are driving, and less walking.

It’s my theory that people get a dog, so they have to go out and walk the dog, which gives them a reason to walk themselves.

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury captures the experience perfectly.
In 2053 A.D. a man is walking in the evening. He is alone, as no one walks anymore. Ray Bradbury was ahead of his time, and I recommend the story.
So go out for a midnight stroll
All The Best.
-A
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