I have always enjoyed walking. I find it to be a great way to experience a new place, such as an unfamiliar city the first time you visit. I also like hiking and have completed a wide range of trips, from backpacking in the California Sierra Nevada mountains, to trekking the Milford Track in New Zealand, to climbing to a hut deep in the Swiss Alps and spending the night. I have gotten to know China, New York City, London and Paris in a more intimate way by walking around different parts of the city each time I have visited.
What I have discovered recently is that it is a great way to get some exercise. We have several nice trails near my house and I have been taking advantage of the last warm days of summer to go on some long walks. Sometimes I just watch the birds along a river trail as I go; other times I listen to podcasts on my iPhone. Regardless, I find it a refreshing, relaxing way to unwind and get a decent workout in at the same time. I am not a runner and quite frankly have never enjoyed it, even though I grew up around it with my dad being a coach and attending countless cross country and track events. I continue to live with it today as my husband trains and takes part in marathons and triathlons. I enjoy watching, but have no desire to participate.
I have heard that in order to exercise regularly you need to find something that you enjoy doing and stick to it. To me there is nothing like walking, as you experience your environment in a way that you can’t do when you are running and moving quickly. Another great thing about walking is that almost anyone can do it – you don’t need any special equipment except a good pair of shoes.
My walking consists of going at least three miles an hour so I feel that I am getting some exercise benefit. I have been walking further and further, first three miles at a time, then five and this week I went seven miles one day and then went over 13 miles yesterday. The 13 mile walk really tested my limits especially since my shoes are on their last legs and because the last mile was up a large hill in 90+ degrees heat. However, I really enjoyed it and am planning some other routes to try when I receive the new pair of shoes that I ordered today.
So stay tuned for more walking news as I will tweet my progress in this area.