The #1 Exercise – Walking

  1. Walking
    ‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.’
  • John Muir

The practice and philosophy of walking in Nature was born and bred in the mountains of middle Europe.
Walking, was therefore, the main exercise prescribed – walking up and down hills and mountains
Walking “oils the joints”
• It prevents stiffness and atrophy.
• Keeps the mind clear and ordered.
• It dispels resentment and inspires good resolutions.
• The exercise of walking should not be mistaken with the art of taking a leisurely stroll.
• When walking for exercise – be focused.
• Pick a starting position and an end point – a distance to be completed, i.e. a kilometre, once around the park/block, to the end of the beach etc.
• Create momentum by walking briskly, taking large steps of about 12 cm (30in) on the balls of the feet rather than the heel of the foot resting on the ground.
• Swing the arms vigorously to the front of the body letting the outward swing carry the body forward from the hips. (Modern terminology would call this Power Walking)
• Remember to breathe through the nose applying the rhythmic and diaphragmatic breathing technique – (See section on Rhythmic Breathing)
• If and when the mouth opens in order to get more air into the lungs (exhaustion) stop and rest until normal breathing has been attained.
• Continue with the walk until the mouth opens once again. You will find that the distance completed will be slightly less than the first attempt.
• Continue with this pattern until the distance has been completed.
• Walking on the beach through shallow water in bare feet is excellent and great fun. The act of digging the toes into the sand for leverage and propulsion is an art in itself.
• Walking on wet grass is also good.
• If you are going to walk on concrete or cement wear a good pair of walking shoes.
‘When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson’

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