Opinion: How Long Walks Will Change Your Life

Sufyan Maan, M.Eng
If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk. — Hippocrates

I live on a hill station; it’s pretty cold in winter, but the massive mountains make it beautiful regardless of the weather.

In the summer, I enjoy going on hikes, and in the winter, I enjoy long walks by the river. On one side, there is a river, and on the other, there are gigantic and majestic mountains.

I am doing 30-day experiments to boost my productivity and build sustainable healthy habits this year. So far, I have completed 11 30-day challenges, including squats, 3+ liters of water, plank, etc.

Here is the complete list if you would like to read my 4-week transformational journey.

Why should you start a walking routine?

Walking is like medicine. A regular walk can help cure anxiety, fix digestive issues, and also help to improve your mental health.

According to National Health Stats, an adult between 18 and 64 should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week.

A minimum 2–3 km walk each day can help you achieve the 150 minutes National standard to stay healthy. I recently completed a 30+ day walking journey to hit the National minimum requirements.

Woodlands, mountains, and rivers

I spent many years in the concrete jungles (big cities), towns, remote villages, and mountains.

I walked everywhere, across the city, along busy paths and roads, but the best places I love to walk are mountains, under the trees, and along the rivers.

Our vacation to the Cayman Islands got canceled due to COVID. We went to the lakehouse (cabin/cottage) anyway. We had a peaceful time at the cottage, looking out at the mighty ocean, massive mountains, and snow-covered trees. Even as a child, I loved to spend my time in the woods.

Lakehouse is the most peaceful area on the planet. We don’t even have internet access at the cottage.

Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time. — Katrina Mayer

Why do I suggest going on long walks?

Walking is not new to me; I grew up in a small village far from school and town/city life. When I was in 6th grade, I remember I used to walk 10+ Kms a day to go to a nearby school. I was also pretty tall, which means my legs helped me walk faster.

If I can, I prefer to walk almost everywhere; when I used to live in Vancouver downtown, I got rid of my car because nearly everything was within walking distance. I would also include that Vancouver has a pretty comprehensive transportation system that helped me a lot.

Many studies show that merely a 10 minutes walk can help to change your mood. I prefer to go for long walks for at least 45–50 minutes.

According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), walking can help to reduce blood sugar and mitigate the diabetes risk. It’s a great activity to balance your blood sugar level.

Long walks can help you stay under a healthy weight and are a great way to help you strengthen your cardiorespiratory system.

I prefer to go for long walks, but I try to take a long shower to generate ideas if I have less time.

I go for long walks to solve more complex problems. A long walk or even a shower always helps me bring more ideas to the table.

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. –Friedrich Nietzsche

I am usually super busy on weekdays and still try to manage 45–50 minutes to do exercise. Nowadays walking is one of the main activities, if I have time I usually go on a walk without any specific plan.

The goal is to walk to get the joy and, along the journey, pet the dogs. I feel like walks are therapeutic to put me always in a great mood to embrace life.

The best time to walk

You can literally go for a walk almost anytime, but I prefer to go for walks after supper.

I observed that walking after supper helped me to have quality sleep.

Study shows that walking is directly related to boosting melatonin’s effects (sleep hormone).

Long walks can help to solve your digestive issues

If you’re losing your appetite, I highly recommend starting this healthy practice. I recall the village Hakeem (wise man) telling people to go for a 5–10 km walk every day, and if they still have a stomach problem, we’ll take them to the city.

I never heard an adult (20–60 years old) complain about not feeling hungry after completing a 3+ mile walk every day.

Grandma overweight

My grandma lived a long healthy life, and I never saw her overweight in my whole life.

I can understand genes can play a major role. But I think exercise and diet are super important to control your weight.

My grandma walked at least 3–5 miles each day.

The bottom line

Everywhere is a walking distance if you have the time. — Steven Wright

Walking has endless health benefits, and it’s one of the best physical activities to incorporate into your routine to live a long and healthy life.

Every walk is a new opportunity to connect with myself and nature and hear new sounds along the journey to achieve joy (inner happiness).

Keep walking and keep smiling. — T. Tim

Some people prefer to go on different walking paths. I don’t mind going in the same direction as long as the trail is under trees, mountains, or along the river.

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: The original article was published on another platform.

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