This would be like asking the questions is breathing safe, is bathing safe or is thinking safe?
Like all things that your body must have for great health, the answer is an absolute YES! As with any normal natural requirement that our body needs, these are the things that should be done without much thought. Of course these complex but simple things can be taken to the extreme, you wouldn’t want to walk off a cliff, breath toxic air or bath in polluted water and your thoughts would be best spent on pleasant thoughts.
Long walks are something that should become automatic, just like every breath we take. Walking is not hard, it’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other; the hard part is to keep going beyond our front door without our car keys.
I have witnessed other cultures that don’t give a thought to going out their front door and walk for miles to get to their destination. Whether it is for food, work or for just visiting a friend, walking is their main mode of local transportation. Local could be a several mile radius. If it goes beyond a few miles a bicycle might be chosen to ride.
We may look at these cultures and think they are deprived of the modern convenience of motorized vehicles, but in reality these cultures are so much further ahead especially when it comes to their health.
We may think that it’s just not worth the extra time and inconvenience to walk locally but when we study the overall health of these everyday walkers it doesn’t take long to see the benefits they derive from this activity.
- The blood gets plenty of oxygen, which is great way to ward of sickness. (It has been proven that sickness has a harder time taking a foothold in a more oxygenated body.)
- Everyday walkers are rarely overweight.
- Walkers have a generally better state of mind.
- The risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers can be reduced just by enjoying this simple physical activity.
- The sensual benefit of your eyes taking in the beautiful or interesting surroundings that you would miss each day because you drove so fast past them would be lost.
These are just a few rewards; the benefits could go on and on with each step you take. Where else can you get fresh air, sunshine, mental poise and exercise all in one activity. It’s a 4 for 1 deal.
I know that in our fast paced society it’s hard to slow down, to look at the world close to us and listen to everything around us like the birds singing in the trees or the friendly neighbor saying hi as you walk by; which can easily be had on a walk, Trust me, you will get more at this slower pace than you will on the highway.
How can you get more out of walking compared to driving? Well, those who walk regularly will spend much less time waiting in a doctor’s office or laid up in the hospital for a period of time.
Don’t misunderstand me, I realize most of our jobs, markets and friends are much farther then they were many years ago and it wouldn’t be possible to go everywhere without a car these days. I’m just trying to impress upon you to walk every chance you get. You could walk mornings before work or during your breaks at work. You can unwind after work with a walk before dinner; it will help aid the digestion of your coming meal. Your days off and weekends are a great time for a walk.
We forget that our legs are a transportation medium that has perks, use them.
It’s important to note that those who consistently walk will have a more active and eventful life in their later years. In other words the walker will have more life to their years and more years to their life. One might boast that they have more time because they’re going faster in a car but in the end the walker wins. Kinda like the Tortoise and the Hare story.
Walking, coupled with a healthful diet is like the icing on the cake (I digress). I should say like the greens in the smoothie. It has multiple benefits to your health and wellbeing.
What pains me is when I see someone walking while their eating a donut, burger or like. I call these walkers “The Walking Dead” A slow mindless walk while they are stuffing face.
Be part of the “Walking Life”, come walk with me in spirit or in person, I will enjoy your company.