March 24, 2021

Walking - Wild And Free

Henry David Thoreau in his lecture Walking or The Wild said:

“All good things are wild and free. 

I rejoice that horses and steers have to be broken before they can be made the slaves of men, and that men themselves have some wild oat still left to sow before they become submissive members of society.

Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man….”

Thoreau was on to something!

From a Today article: Modern science has studied walking and found that “There are many reasons to walk for exercise,” says Ann Green, M.S., past heptathlon world athlete, yoga teacher and fitness studio owner. “Walking improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture, and the list goes on…”

One Stanford University study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. Researchers labelled this type of creativity “divergent thinking,” which they define as a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. According to the study, “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression also suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout when it comes to relieving the symptoms of anxiety and boosting mood.

Lots of benefits! But I think the best reason goes back to Thoreau. We all were born to be a little wild and free. Some more than others! Now go get you some walking!

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