Walking – It Does a Body (and Mind) Good
Address & Neighborhood: Anywhere
Best For: Ramblers, wanderers, cubicle dwellers, homebodies, lost souls
Free times: Anytime
In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
– John Muir
One of the most simple and enjoyable activities that is good for both body and mind is walking. Living in San Diego affords the opportunity to stretch your legs anytime of year, indeed any day. Even in what qualifies for inclement weather here the raindrops, heavy fog, or high winds are not a barrier to spending some time outdoors. I find these fleeting times of less than ideal weather to be my favorite times for going for a walk. The change in surroundings puts the mind in a different mood and leads to thoughts that match the tone of the day.
Modern life can often feature a sedentary lifestyle, especially if work requires long periods at a computer. Getting out of the chair and office for a walk can lead to health benefits, including the following (per the Mayo Clinic):
- Lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
- Increased HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
- Lower blood pressure
- Help manage weight
- Improve mood
Walking is ideal for a quick bit of exercise or clearing your mind since it doesn’t require special equipment or travel to a sports facility. You can walk around your neighborhood, a nearby park, or even indoors. Of course, if a more inspirational setting is desired you can walk along the ocean with a soundtrack of crashing waves. For the non-maritime-minded a stroll up Mount Soledad or Cowles Mountain provides inspiring vistas and a more strenuous workout.
Walking is the basis for tales great (The Hobbit follows a long trek) and small (a trip to the grocery store or cafe). With the weather we have in Southern California there’s little reason not to take advantage and enjoy a stroll soon. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
John P. Anderson
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