My Java Journal

On Walking: Body, Mind and Soul

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau

I had an ultrasound of my abdomen done recently. Nothing to worry about, just following through on protocol for something I was having checked out. Seems I am healthy as an ox; just one that’s starting to show his age.

The ultrasound technician asked me if I walked, which caught my interest. I told her I did. Generally, I try to walk everywhere. Certainly, I use my car less and less these days. I asked her why she asked and she told me that she could see I was a walker – from an ultrasound of my abdomen. She then told me to not stop walking because the results were obvious. To her anyway.

The more I read the more I have been getting exposed to the many benefits of walking. I just shared the obvious physical value, but there is a strong link to mind, spirituality and creativity as well.

Nietzsche is quoted: “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” There is certainly much truth to the clarity of thought that comes to one as a walk matures. I have found that even if you try to stay focused on a specific topic or stream of thought, it proves harder as one relaxes into a walk and the flow of conscious, and unconscious thoughts work themselves into streams of contemplation not necessarily intended, sought or previously considered. Truer the longer the walk.

Last week I shared the phenomenon where you start to notice things more once you become aware of them; The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Well, it has happened again. In finishing up this blog post I went to The Art of Manliness Podcast site to find and share a podcast I recalled about the benefits of being bored that I was planning to introduce here (but which I will do so now in a future post). I headed over to the site and this is what I find – Podcast #560: The Magic of Walking. This is their latest offering and only published three days ago. Coincidence?

Not to belabour my point, and in conclusion, I will end here. I hope you enjoy, and get yourself out for a walk. It’s winter now, and unlike the summer from which it can be often times difficult to escape the humidity, heat and bugs, in winter you can dress for the conditions and be as warm as you need to be. Even more, as you walk, you’ll find you will need to open or shed layers as the blood (and thoughts) begin to flow.

Gratitude. Now get outside.