Did you realize that there are dozens of songs about walking? There is a reason. One of the most human things we can do, which we should be doing every day, and which was designed to keep us well – is to walk. Yet this is the one thing it seems society wants to inhibit.
Are there nice places to walk where you live? If there are, you’re lucky. I’ve lived in places like that, and in places not-like-that. In either case, I would encourage you to get out there and do it, but keep in mind that there are widely recognized health benefits to walking in nature as opposed to simply walking. In other places I talk about the synergistic benefits of walking. In nature. With a friend. That exponentially increases your well-being.
But the first thing you have to do is get into an upright position and begin putting one foot in front of the other. If you are really the worse for wear, the first place you’ll want to walk is to your doctor’s office and see if he thinks you’re healthy enough to walk. It is possible to walk your way back to health, and if this applies to you I hope you will do it, but it is wise to check with Doc to see how far he wants you to go when you’re first starting out. It may only be half of a mile. Listen to him.
Once you get a bit of mileage on your sneakers, you will be able to feel the benefit of wellness returning to your body. Your brain will reward this new behavior by dumping what I call “happy drugs” into your bloodstream. They’re completely natural and won’t make your eyes get bloodshot or make you laugh at things that aren’t funny. But you will feel good.
Before you know it, you’ll be approaching your ideal weight, and may even want to venture into other activities like jogging or riding a bicycle. It happened to me; it could happen to you. Early on in the process I suggest that you pick up a fitness tracker. My wife and I use fitbit and I’m pleased with their products. You may have another favorite, but it really keeps the motivation up because they can be programmed to prod you to get up and walk every hour, which researchers are finding out helps keep us healthier than simply walking a whole bunch all at the same time, like after work or on lunch breaks. Taking those longer walks are great, too, but we should be getting up and moving around every every hour we are up. The fitness trackers also allow you to join challenges with friends who are also wearing them. It is pretty fun.
If you are paring down your belongings, that’s great. You can do without a fitness tracker, but I can tell you that mine is one of those things that adds value to my life and that brings me joy. If you aren’t buying anything new right now, that is awesome, too. You can find used trackers on craigslist, eBay, FB marketplace, and lots of other places.
Bottom line is that we were meant to travel at around 3 miles per hour, and to do it consistently throughout the day. Get started today, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other, and soon…you’ll be walkin’ out the dooooor.