My Walking Journey: Steps to fitness and peace of mind

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Daily walks have been a part of my routine since early 2017, and have become an integral aspect of my life. In this article, I want to share my journey with you, emphasizing the health benefits of walking and how it has brought me peace of mind. The beauty of it is that anyone can embark on this journey by simply stepping out and walking somewhere nearby their home.

When I started walking, my primary motivation was to improve my fitness. Working from home had confined me to the same space day in and day out, and I felt the need to get out, clear my mind, and experience the world around me. Little did I know that this simple act of putting one foot in front of the other would lead to not only improved physical health but also a sense of inner peace and mental clarity.

One of the key aspects of my walking routine is my connection with nature. I find solace in the embrace of the forest. There's something incredibly soothing about the rustling leaves, the chirping birds, and the gentle sway of the trees. It's my reset button, a way to clear my mind and recharge my spirit. Walking in the midst of nature has become a form of therapy for me, and I never tire of it.

I have a routine that I stick to religiously. I walk the same route every day, but with a twist. On odd-numbered dates, I go in one direction, and on even-numbered dates, I switch it up. This simple variation adds variety to my walks, which are always unique and exciting.

Another aspect that I've come to love about my walking journey is experiencing different weather conditions. Rain or shine, I'm out there, as long as I'm dressed appropriately for the weather. There's something invigorating about feeling the raindrops on my skin or the crispness of the winter air - or even walking through the occasional winter wonderland. It's a reminder that nature is ever-changing, and I get to be a part of it.

When I began this journey, I set a daily step goal of 12,000 steps. It was a challenge, but I was determined to meet it. My chosen walking route is the Green Timbers Urban Forest, a serene and picturesque setting that has been my constant companion on this journey. Initially, I covered about 8 kilometres per day, usually in the evenings, soaking in the tranquility of the forest.

I started tracking my walks as hikes, but in June 2017, I made the switch to tracking them as runs. This change allowed me to achieve digital medals for my achievements, adding a sense of accomplishment to my daily routine. I maintain a brisk pace during my walks, ensuring that I get the most out of each step.

Even when I travelled, I was determined to meet my walking goal. I found new and exciting (and sometimes not very exciting) places to walk while away from home, sometimes even pacing through airports while waiting for flights. My commitment to walking never wavered.

In mid-June 2022, I made a few adjustments to my route, increasing it to just over 10 kilometres per day. This adjustment allowed me to challenge myself further, and I've stuck with it since then. In 2023, I surpassed my goal of 10 kilometres per day by logging an impressive 3,700 kilometres in total.

As I look ahead to the future, I plan to continue this journey and achieve similar milestones this year. Walking has become more than just a fitness routine; it's a way of life. It has not only helped to transform my physical health but has also brought me peace of mind and a deeper connection to the world around me. So, if you're looking for a simple yet profound way to improve your well-being, consider taking a walk. You might just find a journey of self-discovery and tranquility waiting for you, just outside your doorstep.