'Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.'
Soren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher)
There are plenty of examples of talented, creative, intellectual individuals who used walking to keep their minds active.
Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth, Aristotle, Beethoven....
Read Mark's blog on how and why walking seemed to work for them.
Then read Kam Arkinstall's article about how we can encourage walking by changing surrounding and how to make the most out of yours.
She didn't use to walk anywhere. Then she signed up to take part in a charity walking event and decided to train for it by walking to and from work (about three miles each way). Voila! She realised that walking is severely underrated as a form of exercise.
'Since I started walking to work, which was about three years ago now, I’ve gone from doing virtually no exercise to becoming not only a walker, but a runner too. Oh yes, and I lost four stone (56lbs/25.5kg) along the way!'
So how much does someone’s environment influence whether they’ll walk? A study in the International Journal of Health Geographics (IJHG) measured the impact that the built environment can have on people’s walking behavior.
To cut a long story short, they found that a better ‘connectivity’ of the pedestrian network does increase the amount of walking people do. Makes sense. The easier it is to walk and the more pleasant your surroundings, the more likely you are to walk.
Try keeping me away from the glorious coast path down here.
But walking in itself brings great benefits to mind, body and soul, even if you're walking through unattractive, built-up areas. If you can, try it every few days for 2 weeks and see what you feel.