Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Walking Hobby

Now is the perfect time to take up walking. While it may seem like a dull hobby, it can be a great way to accomplish several tasks at once. I have really picked up my walking in the past few weeks, and I love it. I encourage you, too, to consider taking up walking as a hobby.

First walking is good for you. While it does not burn fat the way that running or other aerobic activity does, it definitely is helpful to your body. You can burn calories by walking, particularly if you add something to the walk. You may want to try wrist or ankle weights or try walking up stairs or hills. You will be adding something to the walking so that you can increase the number of calories you burn.

If you are a couch potato, then any type of activity is better than nothing. You should start walking at least a couple of times a week and see how you like it. One of the things that I have noticed is that I see much more when I am out taking a walk. Now I notice the birds chirping or the trees swaying. While it may sound silly, I do think that it renews the spirit to notice nature around us.

Another benefit to walking is that we can save on gas prices! Now you may be thinking that you do not live in an area where it is possible to walk and get things done, but you are probably wrong. Even if you live in a rural area, you can park once you get to town and then walk to all of the stores. Even if you have to go back to your car after a couple of stores to drop off packages, that is okay. You will be getting in better shape and saving on gas prices. Plus you will realize that you really do not save much time by going from spot to spot while you are shopping. The next time you are out try to think of a way to cut out some of the driving and get a little extra walking into your routine.

If you live in a more urban area, then you can begin to walk to the library, to shops, and even to restaurants. It will feel good to relax on your way there and get a little exercise in. While you are headed to the library, you can take books with you. The extra weight will be an added benefit.

Walking also gives you time to think, which most of us need. We often find that we have too much going on. The modern world is full of running and going to the next activity. By walking to the corner store, you have that 15 minutes there and back to think about what is going on. Consider your day and how it is going. Think about what you have to do tomorrow. Take some time for yourself. Walking can help you get that time to yourself.

If you are thinking of picking up walking as a hobby, start out slowly. Try walking for 15 minutes two nights this week. Then move up to three nights next week. Take the walk at the same time so that it can become part of your routine. Walk every evening after dinner or in the early morning hours when the world is just waking.

Once you are walking the number of nights you would like, then you can add time and difficulty to your walks. Fifteen minutes may seem like an eternity when you first get started, but soon you will find that you can get through it easily. Then you may want to move to 20 minutes and then 25. Or you may want to start increasing your speed so that you can get farther on that 15-minute walk.

Do not wait for the right time to start your walking routine. Start it today. Instead of sitting back tonight and watching another CSI marathon, think about what you could be doing. Instead of watching the world go by, you could be particularly in it, and that is much more fun.

By Julia Mercer

1 comment:

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