Walking - For the Body and Mind
By Jason Anderson For the Messenger-Inquirer
I am a runner.
Manager of Health and Fitness
Seems strange that you would start out an article about walking by saying that you are a runner but, I am. I have run for years and ran many, many miles in many, many places.
Things go by quickly and in a hurry when you are a runner (some more quickly than others depending on your speed) so you don’t always get to enjoy your surroundings.
Also, with running, and being in a hurry, I would say that you don’t get to enjoy things as much as you would like. Don’t get me wrong! Running is therapeutic for me and I do enjoy my surroundings but the fact of the matter is that when you slow down, you see more.
Although I am a runner, sometimes I don’t want to run. It doesn’t feel smooth and effortless many times but I still need to get outside and get some exercise, so I have done something different and began to walk some.
I gave myself permission to take it a little easier on some days (recovery is important) and go for a walk instead of a run and you know what? I really ENJOY it! ENJOY is the correct word and the best way to describe it for me.
I particularly enjoy walking around the neighborhoods surrounding the Healthpark. The streets are fairly quiet. The trees are big and beautiful. The plants are colorful. I feel thankful. The walk allows me to escape my work and my responsibilities and just have that time for myself and my thoughts.
It brings me peace as I think about all I have and have to be grateful for. At times, the walk has helped me sort through problems as I think through them and talk through them in my head.
I guess you would say it brings me some clarity. I can also tell you that I have never finished a walk and wished I had not done it. There have been times where I left it off and missed it.
There is a lot of negative things in the world today. I don’t have to tell you that as you see the news just as I do. It is easy to get caught up in this negativity and difficulties in life and before you know it, you have gone “down the hole.”
I want to encourage you to use walking as a tool for your physical health, but also for your mental health. I want to challenge you to get out there just as I do — and as many others do — and give it a try.
Feel the sun’s warmth and the breeze blowing. Notice nature and the beauty of creation. Focus on all you have to be thankful for and I believe you will find it as time well spent.
I’ll still continue to be a runner but I’ll add some days in for walking, too!
Jason Anderson is the manager of Health and Fitness at the Owensboro Health Healthpark.