It’s my favorite form of exercise .
Ok, come with me for a walk today – only online. Otherwise, it is my ‘me time’. Always has been. This is my time for reflection, and the deflection of problems. Yes, I refuse to let my ‘me time’ be spoiled! This walking is the unwinding and re-energizing session of the day for me.
So, the typical question is ‘Walks kaisi chal rahi hein?’ (How are the walks going?) It really amuses me. But its true. Walks have to be on the move in one’s life. Yet somehow, when there is a break from routine, one’s walking routine is the first to be hit. Then it becomes really difficult to re-start the routine. So, let me say, from my own experience; ‘Never leave your exercise routine – no matter what happens!’ You can try to reduce the walks’ time or even inculcate it into your tough times. But do not leave your walk or exercise routine for long.
Do you want to know my theories of walking? I’m quite diligent about them. I’ve got a back ground of at least three decades of walking 3-5 times a week. First of all I prefer to walk, over most indoor forms of exercises because walking is done outdoors, and that is the fun part of it.
Why not go out and be in the fresh air? Enjoy the weather – whatever it is. Even walking in the rain can be fun, (yes, I have a rain jacket for it.) In the US, I’ve loved walking in the snow.
Here, in summers, I sweat it out. Of course, like yesterday if the weather is perfect , it’s a wonderful bonus. But you can choose the best time and place of the day.
Here are my ‘dozen rules of walking’:
- Walk at least three to five times a week.
- Even ten-minutes to a one-hour time-slot is good enough. If you want to maintain your weight then 20 – 30 minutes are fine. If you want to lose weight then around one hour is better.
- It is best to depend only on yourself to maintain your routine. If you depend on others, it usually fails.
- Do it alone. (It’s my ‘me time.’) Yes, I’m quite happy with my own company.
- If you take someone along, it should be someone who enhances the experience.
- No phone calls – if you have to take a call, keep it brief.
- No music. Listen to the birds, the wind. Absorb the ambiance of nature. Go out of the way to smell the fragrances of flowers and observe rare plants, and places.
- Breathe deeply.
- Be in the here and now. Stop thinking of your past or your future.
- Look and observe, yes, taking pictures are permitted but only for a short while. There has to be a complete no-phone-zone during this walk.
- Choose new places to go for walks. Otherwise, it becomes boring and monotonous.
- Meditate: – The word Allah, works well for me. You see all this nature, the mountains, lakes all are His workmanship. All so awesome. You can say any other word that you like. If it is possible, try to think of nothing . The purpose is to be in the here and now – a state of mental and physical well-being.
How to walk:
(I know you know how to walk….!)
Remember the objective is to get the blood circulating in every capillary of your body. So, first ten minutes are relatively slow. Next twenty minutes are as fast as you are comfortable with. Last ten minutes are slow again, coming to your slowest. You are getting your heartbeat and circulation from ‘normal’ to ‘faster’ and ‘fastest’. Then keep at fastest for around twenty minutes at least. Start slowing down, near the end of your walk. So, let your heartbeat come to normal by the time you end your walk.
Chit Chat with strangers:
I’ve found some interesting people during my walks. Yesterday, I wished a lady, as I sat next to her on a bench. She smiled as she said, ‘Walaikum assalam!’ Soon we were talking, and she was showing me how to do yoga and there taught me some really nice ‘do-able’ steps. So, there I stood following her instructions. When I first looked, she seemed to be quite elderly. Yet, when we got talking, it was fun. She said she had been to the gym all her life. Now, she is more into walks and yoga. She said, “Why don’t you just put on a video of yoga and do what you can!’ I told her that is just what I do! So, it was lovely meeting her.
This morning, I watched the video ‘5 rituals that predict success’. In that, he talked about sweating it out first thing in the morning. Also writing a journal, being aware of where you are and where you are going, and chalking out blocks of time for work, creativity and family. (Yes, I do all that too!)We just need to adjust the things according to our own nature.
This walk time is the best time for introspection for me too. I’m not a morning exercise kind of person – my exercise time is between Asr and Maghrib – which is evening between 4.00 pm to 5.pm these days. It is a nice time to unwind, and get things clear in one’s head.
Just remember you are here for the walk and for your own well being. This is a good time to re-connect with Nature. While walking, please do not over stress yourself.
So, please do not push yourself beyond your limits. Enjoy it and try to get outside your comfort zone once in a while too. Challenge yourself once in a while. But just keep it going. Note, I’m not saying you must walk for such lengths of distance or this amount of time. To each his or her own. But the point is you must walk, or continue with your exercise regimen.
Stay blessed with health and well being my Reader. 🙂
Note: All photographs taken by author on November 18th 2017.