Why I love walking

Why I love walking

hiking, walking, happinessIn every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

Why I love walking

While on the treadmill at the gym earlier today I was trying  to think about what I was going to write about tonight and it hit me I’ve never actually written about walking.  So tonight I want to write about something I really love, walking.  As a kid, I spent a lot of time just walking in the woods alone exploring.  I knew every inch  of the woods near where I grew up and those woods were one of the first places I got to go on little adventures of my own making.  This love of walking transitioned into a love of hiking once I got older.

Time to Contemplate

One of the things I love about walking/hiking is that you have time to contemplate.  The beauty of walking is that you’re not going awfully fast and particularly in my case.  The pace I walk at might be better described as meandering or sauntering instead of walking.  But that’s exactly the way I like it.  I love the opportunity as I’m walking slowly to be able to see things in a way you never can when you’re traveling by faster methods.  When hiking you see things you never notice in a car or even on a bike.  You literally have time to stop and smell the roses/flowers.

But for me, one of the best things about walking, particularly long-distance walking is the time to get into your own head.  When you’re out on a trail walking for 8 hours or more a day you have lots of time with nothing else to do but think.  Having that kind of mental time is a real gift and allows you to dive deep into your own mind and really contemplate things you might not otherwise make time for.  There’s a really great quote that summarizes the mental process you go through on the trail.

colin fletcher, walking, happiness

In addition to allowing you to see things as you slow down, a slower pace of walking is a good lesson about life.  A slower pace of life helps you see things you wouldn’t ordinarily see at the fast pace we all normally live at.

Health benefits of walking

In addition to allowing you to slow down and think there are a range of health benefits that come from regularly walking.  Of course it can help you control your weight, have positive benefits for blood sugar and it’s a low-impact form or exercise that is easy on your joints.  Regular walking is also a great way for people who don’t exercise to ease into physical activity and eventually into larger levels of hiking.  Simply walking a few days of week can be the start to something that could end in much larger adventures, no matter what age you are at, recently an 82 year-old man completed all 2190 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Oh the places you’ll go

One of the beautiful things about walking is that if you just don’t stop it’s absolutely amazing the places you can walk to.  I’ve been fortunate enough to walk in the Himalayas in Nepal.

happiness nepal

Rev Kane making friends in Nepal

To Petra, a 2000 year-old city in the Jordanian Desert

petra, jordan, travel

Rev Kane at Petra

For over a 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail

Rev Kane on his first day on the Appalachian Trail

And all the way across Scotland, a walk I liked so much I’m doing an even bigger walk in Scotland in August.

happiness scotland

Rev Kane goin native in the Scottish Highlands

So my friends if you’re not a walker, give it a try and if you are walking try going a little further or maybe even an over-nighter.  I think you’ll find that walking and even hiking solo, can be a really amazing thing and bring you many happy days my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

About revmichaelkane

Reverend Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His most recent book about hiking and happiness is Appalachian Trail Happiness available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon
This entry was posted in Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness, personal happiness and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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