Friday, October 17, 2014

Ten Reasons to go for a Walk Tonight

How are you doing today? By any chance, are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, maybe a bit depressed? Or maybe like something is missing? 

If so, allow me to make a suggestion to help you for getting out of this mental slump. And it doesn’t require pills -- you don’t have to go to the doctor for any prescription. 

My idea for you is get your fix. Your nature fix, that is.

When was the last time you went for a walk in the park? Or the forest, or the field? When did you last see birds up close or hear the sounds of leaves falling from the trees? 

Has it been a while? Do you tend to dwell mostly, in the tunnel so many of us create for ourselves: home, garage, work, garage and then home again?  

If it’s been quite a long time since you felt in touch with nature, I am going to give you ten reasons to get in touch with nature again.

And don’t wait too long ... the snow is coming and this late autumn won’t last forever. Why not go tonight? 

1. It's excellent exercise. In fact, there is extra value in walking outside compared to the treadmill, because of the extra resistance you gain from walking against the breeze, as well the variety of muscles used by obstacles you may encounter outdoors, as well as natural slope.

2. Walking outdoors can help curb your appetite. Going for a walk outside always makes me want to eat less. As I get more in touch with my body, I tend to have less desire to eat unhealthy things and overeat.

3. Walking outside helps cure stress and anxiety. In fact, a recent article in Forbes magazine quoted Dr. Sobel, a leading expert in preventative medicine as saying that spending time in nature is one of the top cures for stress. 

4. Nature makes you feel connected to something bigger than yourself.  Whether it's looking at the stars at night, or simply gazing up a forty foot elm tree, we are reminded that we really aren't the centre of the universe! 

5. Time spent outdoors connects you with those you love. When I was a kid, my mom used to take my sister and me on nature excursions. Sometimes it was a mysterious path that we had never been on before. Other times, it involved going for a drive and finding an abandoned coulee. These are the best memories, because we were together, exploring.

6. A walk in nature is romantic. Whether you are planning a first date, or planning your retirement, there's nothing better than a romantic stroll to pump up the intimacy level between two lovebirds. 

7. A nature walk is educational. Helen Keller asked her friend what she had seen after a walk in the woods. She was shocked when her friend replied. "nothing." She then goes on to say, "How was it possible ... to walk for an hour through the woods, and see nothing worthy of note? I who cannot see find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch."  Let's learn from Helen. When we walk outside, there is always something to see, and to learn. 

8. A walk through nature helps cure depression. This fascinating article talks about the latest research on how walks through nature have documented physical and sensory effects that help people that struggle with depression. The author also goes on to explain how, in Japan, "forest bathing" is considered a therapeutic option for healing. 

9. An outdoor walk is excellent for planning and goal-setting. I have gotten some of my best ideas while on a nice, long walk. There's something about the rhythm of walking that lends itself to dreaming and planning.  In fact, don't think of a walk as just one more thing you have to do,  but as a productivity tool for getting more done in the long run. 

10. You are walking in the shadows of greatness. Jesus himself was a great walker. Albert Einstein is reported to have walked the 1.5 hour distance to work and back, when he worked at Princeton. And C.S. Lewis, was inspired by the regular walks he took on his five acre wooded property.  

So, have I convinced you to go for a walk tonight? I confess
that I have been skipping my walks lately, and during the writing of this post, I actually went out and got a quick walk in. So, what about you? What are you waiting for? 

Or are you already a dedicated walker? What are your reasons for walking? Tell us your story. 

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  1. "A walk through nature helps cure depression" << I love this! I have a friend that's struggling with depression. Will definitely let him know :)

  2. Fransss, a nature walk can be so helpful for someone feeling down. I am glad you will let your friend know. Have a wonderful day!


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