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.

walking1

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.

walking

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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14 thoughts on “A Walk to Write

  1. I used to do this earlier, and it does wonders for your writing. I remember writing such beautiful poetry then, now I walk mainly with the aim of getting lost and I have stopped thinking of it as an exercise. Personally, that helps more. Also, do a bit of core training, it helps in the long run :p

  2. There was this joke I read somewhere. Someone asked my grandfather to walk for an hour every day. He left home a year ago and hasn’t returned yet. Jokes apart, Yes walking is the cheapest (not counting the shoes and attire) and best exercise. This morning I read somewhere that even if you walk for 2 minutes every hour, especially people who are hunched up in front of their laptops all day long can lose their mid riff sooner than they think.

    • ha ha nithya! good one :). I walk 20 min in the morning and 20 min in the evening. Right now that seems to be my speed!

  3. I am a walking fiend. I used to walk to office and back in Delhi, when I was working and since it was 8 Km one way, it was all the exercise that I needed 🙂 NOW that I am retired, strangely enough, I find it difficult to maintain a regular routine for walking 🙂

    • I find that walking needs constant motivation. Even if I miss one day, I slip a week! I am very thankful for the park near my house… otherwise I don’t know what I’d have done 🙂

  4. Thanks, Radhika. Nice article. I had stopped walking as it was too hot too early in the morning and it continued until too late in the evening. This served as a nice reminder and I felt a physical push towards the park.

    • yes in chennai it’s hot at 7am also… so these days I walk 20 min in the gym and then 20 min in the evening around 6pm. Only way to beat the heat!

  5. Gotta agree with you about the benefits of walking, Radhika, having experienced them first hand. I go to the garden at around 8pm, walk for half hour and the next half hour is spent sitting on the bench and staring upwards at the stars. The dark wide sky never fails to put all things into proper perspective, each and every time.

    Thanks tons, for the informative links, too. 🙂

    • I am so J! You have a garden :). Well, I have one too, but it’s not the kind where I can sit at… but I agree to the picture you have painted. When I visited Kodaikkanal last minute I hardly ventured out into the town… the tiny garden bench before our cottage was more than enough for me to relax and create some poems 🙂

      • Haha, sadly not my personal garden but a small walking garden. It is just too beautiful and calm and quiet, just like a mother’s embrace. It has a walking track too.

  6. enjoyed reading….walking is such a nice experience and a remedy for many problems…I too enjoy walking daily and it saved me from allergy……

    • oh that’s the first I am hearing about walking preventing allergies… actually this reminds me of the green colour flying worm – it looked like this http://bugguide.net/node/view/157788 – which attacked me every time I walked along a particular tree in the park near my home… lol not sure why I suddenly thought of that… it was quite scary… I wrote a horror story based on the experience 🙂

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