Walking is a song, a rhythm, pulse and beat like that of a drum. It is a path of heart, especially hiking up hills and in the mountains. Walking brings us back into tune and harmony with ourselves and the environment. Of course, there are many other ways to find this “beat”, such as: swimming, running, dancing, skiing, climbing, surfing, etc..
Meditation finds the inner rhythm, and focuses attention on breathing, mind waves, and feelings. An inner alignment occurs that is similar to those of the above external activities: entrainment with a song and rhythm.
I believe our bodies and mind need a song to sing, to dance with, and when it does so harmony within prevails, health is restored, happiness appears spontaneously and a strong orientation to advance is gained.
(c) Paul C Adams 2014
I enjoy walking as frequently as possible, and try to walk one long distance walk per week. “Long distance” is a walk, of sufficient distance, that starts to expand my upper limit and thus stimulates muscle growth. It corresponds with a feeling of being a little tired the next day and muscles are a bit sore. The benefits of this kind of exercise include higher personal energy levels throughout the following week, mental clarity, increased optimism, reduction of accumulated stress, stronger muscles, and greater ability to deal with day to day stress.
For each person a “long distance” walk could be very different. One person reaches this distance limit at a half a mile, and someone else does not reach it until they are at 25 miles or more. Not trying to go “too far too fast” is essential: distance is not the goal.Too much, too fast is hard on the body and counter productive. Walking to that distance which is your limit, periodically, that is the goal. Over the years the ” long distance” will increase, your walking exercise “envelope” will gradually expand.
Walking or hiking in parks, open spaces, state and national parks, and close to the seashore are the best places. Each breath is enjoyed, full of pure and fresh energetic air, and this helps encourage an optimistic and enthusiastic walk.
For more information: On the benefits and techniques of walking, see past issues of Prevention Magazine For hiking see: The American Hiking Society and also The Sierra Club Wilderness cautions: see my previous blog: Wilderness Safety Warning
(c) Paul C Adams 2014