A Walk to Write

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Lifestyle change #2 – Walking 30 minutes a day

Who would have thought that walking would help me in my writing? The two activities are fundamentally different. One is about creation. The other, contemplation. One is done in sedentary in posture yet is active in nature. The other is exactly opposite.

Yet, I write better on the days I walk. Even though I spend time away from my writing desk, I end up writing better stuff, for longer.

Think it’s mystery? Nah. It’s logic. A walk clears your mind. And a clear mind is a fantastic tool for the writer.

For me, a walk is like a gate pass. As an introverted freelance writer/editor, I have a lot of deadlines at any given time, so I am (at home) the quintessential worker bee hunched over her laptop, typing away to oblivion. So, a walk to me is like a glimpse of the outer world in all its glory, a “spread your arms white and take in the bright light and air” moment. And I need these moments every day, if not for the endorphins, at least for the Vitamin D.

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Walking everyday is one of the best health habits you can ever practice in your life. It is said to prevent diabetes, keep the heart healthy, stop obesity, halt dementia, promotes endorphins and is gentle on your knees. Oh, it also tones your arms and legs. So what’s not to like, eh?

The problem is finding those 30 minutes, isn’t it? I hear you. With the daily grind and obligations, spending thirty whole minutes on walking may seem impossible. But it’s not. It’s just a matter of priority.

I don’t know about you, but I live in the tropics. Hot most of the year, and it makes no sense to walk after 6:30am when it’s too warm for a stroll. But I’d hate to cite that as a reason for not walking. OTOH, I also hate giving up my early morning writing time, so I walk in the evenings. You just need to find a time that works for you.

I walk not because I have to, but because I want to. Because I believe we are a generation with escalating sickness in its body and soul. We were never like our parents grandparents ancestors, and we will never will be. We didn’t eat wholesome food like they did, we didn’t make good health choices like they did and we certainly did not physically work like they did.

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Not just writers, but most of humans in these times are slaves to their work desks and get little exercise in a day, so a walk is almost the best and cheapest solution for this problem.

So, if I see the clock pointing to 5:45pm, I just put on my walking shoes and head out.I walk for 15 min in any direction and then head back. It’s as easy as that. I invested in a good Adidas, purely for its durability – trust me, you don’t want to be cheap in this issue! – and let me preach it from the mountaintop that a good pair of shoes makes it a pleasure to walk.

When I return from my walk, I do a simple 10 minute stretching routine, which is vital for your muscle health and in decreasing your risk of injuries. There! In one sweep, I completed my 40 minute exercise quota a day.

Try it. You don’t need an expensive gym membership. You don’t need fancy equipment. Just comfortable clothing and a good pair of walking shoes. Make this simple change in your life, and watch both your health and writing thrive.

Required reading:

How Walking Inspires Writers

Why Walking Helps Us Think

Meditation Walking for Writers

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