March 30th is Take a Walk in the Park Day!
I’m really into walking. Ask any of my friends. I take my walks seriously. I also have the amazing luxury of being able to walk pretty much everywhere. I walk to work each morning. Then walk to lunch across the street. Then walk back to work. And at the end of the day, I walk home. It is a beautiful thing. I have found that there are so many excuses for taking a walk. If I’m feeling tired at work, I take my break and take a walk. If I’m in a bad mood, I take a walk. If I haven’t talked to my best friend allllllll day (what a drag!), I’ll take a walk and call her. If I’m feeling way too full after that huge lunch that I consumed in a matter of minutes, I take a walk.
From the short, five minute stroll, to the longer, hour walk, it seems to me that walking has a way of clearing the mind and revitalizing the body. We’ve all been there; it happens at around 3 o’clock each afternoon, when I hit that lull (that “2:30 feeling”), and I know that I either need another cup of coffee or an electric shock to the brain. Instead of either of those options, I take a walk, and it is amazing how much that helps. I am a big believer in the power of walks, and one of the most pleasant places to take a walk is in a park. Enjoying nature while walking in an environment where you don’t run the risk of being struck by a reckless driver (this has almost happened to me all too often when walking along a busy street) is optimal at a park. It is relaxing to see children playing, animals running about, picnics and people laying in the sun reading.
Let me circle back and touch again on the subject of health. Walking is such a healthy habit. According to the American Heart Association, research has shown that walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, improve blood lipid profile, maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity, enhance mental well being, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, as well as non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes! Uhhh, and that’s just a few examples! Walking in a park is also a completely free way to get your fitness on, and that’s a huge plus when comparing it to walking on the treadmill at the gym.
Whether you walk alone or with a buddy, taking a walk in the park is healthy, refreshing, and fun. It is worth noting, however, to always take care to be safe while walking alone. Especially at night, or in an area you are unfamiliar with. I’m a pretty independent walker, and the fact that I am a speed walker often discourages potential walking buddies from joining me. I’ve learned to keep my wits about me. Always be aware of your surroundings if walking alone, y’all! And let someone know where you are going. Be safe.
How to Celebrate
Take a walk in a park! Invite a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while. Heck, invite the whole gang and have a walking party in the park! And if you prefer to fly solo, rock on. Just be safe (OK, OK, MOM…), and enjoy the natural beauty of a park near you, while also enjoying the many benefits that a good walk provides.
Song of the Day
Featured image via ShutterStock