One activity that no workout in the world can replace!

Running, cycling, and classes at the gym are all great. . .

Why walking is so important to your wellbeing

doctor katie ray chicago

Ever since I was a little girl I have always had a thing for walking!

I think it must go back to my childhood and taking walks with my dad.  I was the first born child, but 11-and-a-half months later my mom gave birth to my brother (“Irish Twins” I guess!).  Suffice it to say my mom had her hands full with me being barely a toddler and my brother being an infant.

Perhaps as a consequence, I spent a good deal of time hanging out with my dad. We might be out in nature, at a park, or walking the neighborhoods in the different places we lived.

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Me on a “walk” with my dad– somewhere in Michigan’s UP

Walking was a way to have companionship, without the pressure of needing to be in constant conversation. Being together in an easy, natural way.  Being in nature or walking through neighborhoods and feeling one with the world while at the same time, autonomous, separate, and aware of my thoughts and observations. Walking shortly after moving somewhere new helped my system harmonize with the new place we called home.

The experience of walking always really captured my imagination! I loved taking in the sights, and getting new ideas. The themes of community and what it is to belong were a constant source of interest for me, as a child, as a sociology grad student, and now as we create our New Day community.

Into my teens walking was an important way to get away, clear my head, and be independent.  In grad school it was a way to reconnect with the world, put my daily concerns on “pause,” get the creative juices flowing, and of course, at times, procrastinate on work I was dreading doing.  Somehow everything would seem better after taking a walk. Sometimes I invited my friends to walk with me and found that however much or little we talked, the walk seemed to harmonize us and bond us together in the experience.

I have always loved all types of exercise, and have frequently been involved in running, zumba, weight training, classes, and the like, and yet for me, nothing can replace the holistic benefits of walking. Research on walking shows it stimulates the brain, boosts our inner healing, and has been seen to prevent all sorts of diseases and forms of degeneration. See http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php for a great summary of the research on walking!

Now that it is finally warming up, I am committing to as many walks per week as I can work in, and am inviting you to join me twice a month for some of my favorite neighborhood walks at our New Day Walking Lunch!

walking lunch

This is something I am SO excited about (in case you can’t tell).  If you live in or work in the neighborhood, work from home, or have a flexible daytime schedule, this should be ideal!  Otherwise, we hope that you can arrange your schedule twice a month to join us anyway 🙂

There is no RSVP needed. Meet at New Day this Friday and the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month hereafter, and wear your walking shoes!  With any questions, feel free to contact us.  I look forward to seeing you this week for your sessions, and on Friday for a walk!

Check out our previous post: “The Season of Transform: Our NEW SRI-Level 2 Workshop

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