I love walking - something about being out in the open, enjoying the fresh air, taking in the beautiful scenery, watching the different plants flower, to say nothing of the benefits that walking gives you in terms of exercise. It's easy to do and best of all, it's free!
I'm told that to stay healthy, you should aim for 10,000 steps per day. And I'm also told that running does not really give you much benefit over walking, other than being quicker! In other words, it really makes little difference if you walk 10 kilometres versus running them in terms of the health benefits.
I'm not naturally a health freak - exercise does not come naturally to me, and I was never "into sport" as a girl. Having worked in office roles all my working life, I am used to sedentary roles and, now I work from home, the "journey" to work is a short walk down the hallway from the bedroom to the study - so my exercise regime has significantly decreased! To counteract this, I had been meeting up with my personal trainer three times a week and while I love her company, I was starting to lose enthusiasm for the 'torture' she put me through!
They say a "change is as good as a rest", and that if something isn't working, you should do something different, so this year I decided to start my day with a walk. So far, the weather has been kind to me, and while I haven't achieved a walk every day, I've managed it most days.
It gives me time for me - I let my mind wander, and it's amazing the thoughts and ideas that come to me. I enjoy observing the routines that exist around me - the cyclists out in groups on their morning bike ride, chatting as they go; the number of people out either on their own or with a friend, walking or running; the elderly lady who feeds the beautiful lorikeet parrots in her garden - the birds are sitting waiting for her; and Rembrandt, the black labrador who goes nuts when he sees me, running in circles in his garden and then bringing a ball for me to throw for him.
The best part, for me, is when I get to the park area that opens into a clearing overlooking the water. If I've walked fast enough, I can indulge myself by sitting and taking in the beauty for just five to ten minutes, before it's time to walk back home and start my day. And to check that I am reaching my goal of 10,000 steps a day, I wear a small pedometer. Most days I achieve my target - but even if I don't, I know that I have done more than I would have achieved by staying at home!
10,000 steps a day sounded daunting at the beginning, but I really am enjoying it