It can literally save your life, making it a pleasant place to be.
Do you walk? (All images courtesy of Morgufile.com)
The benefits of walking are ten-fold. You can walk by yourself, whenever you feel like it. You can walk in a group, walk with a friend, walk to work, walk with your family, walk in the rain, in the snow, even in the heat of a hot summers day if you absolutely have to.
You can walk for peace of mind, you can walk for health, you can even do walking meditation. Walking takes little effort and you don't have to buy special gear. You just need to move yourself.
With this in mind my new hiking boots needed their first outing so I took them up Mt. Coot-tha this morning. Ok, I only went part way up. I am getting used to walking in the boots as well as walking in the forest by myself.
The new boots will be used to walk the 65 kilometers of the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory come July, with 23 other like-minded souls who are fund raising and bringing awareness to help and support Amnesty International. I know I can do this because I can walk.
Out to find all the places that I can simulate the Larapinta trail and extend my fitness, I set out on the Honey Eater Track of Mt. Coot-tha, and a thought crossed my mind.
Most of the people who are walking by me are all really vibrant.
The gentleman with walking poles is at least 75, yet youthful looking and alive, stands straight up and comes complete with a sparkle in his eyes. He walks the trail twice a week. Numerous others walk their dogs, a lot of them solo, some in groups, all willing to give you a smile and a wave.
You don't have to be a racer to walk!
To watch them all, smiling at you as you walk by, health apparent in their stance, in their demeanor, you realize that you are doing what they are doing.
There is no regret, no pain, no sorrow, no anger, just vibrancy and loving the life in the forest.
Now I am not saying that these people are not feeling any of the above emotions, they just left them at the beginning of the trail when they started the walk.
Whatever it is will be waiting when you return, and who knows, you may return with an answer, a different outlook or perspective, and a whole new batch of oxygen in your blood.
There is something that brings you alive when you walk in the forest, down the street, out on the beach. The action alone has great health benefits and stimulates endorphins, those wonderful feel good hormones that come from exercising. The fact that walking can lengthen your life is certainly another plus.
Truly, I want to be one of those vibrant people who in their 70's not only look youthful, but feel youthful, have a spring in their step and a great smile on their face, while they are out enjoying a walk up the mountain.