Hey, Its True … Walking Helps Us Think and Write and Be Healthy

by | Jan 29, 2016 | Coaching, self-reflection

For those that know me well, you know that I try to take a long walk daily.  It started in 2013 as a way to not overwork, so I put a walk into my calendar and pretty much stuck to it.  Initially I walked for about an hour and four miles and progressed to about three hours and a goal of 10 miles each day.

I acknowledge the value of my daily walk to me, including:

  1. Getting away from work at my desk;
  2. Exercise that leads to better health;
  3. Opportunities to see my community at a slower pace;
  4. Getting to know and expand my neighborhood and friendships;
  5. Seeing deer along the way and on occasion they join for a short time;
  6. Actually losing over 40 pounds; and
  7. According to my doctor increasing the measures of good health and reducing unhealthy indicators.

Since September of this year, I have been able to stick to the three hours and 10 miles routine and have used that time to think and draft blogs in my head.  When I return from my walk it is not unusual to share something I learned or thought about with my wife followed by making a few notes that form one of my blogs.  My belief is that those things I remember are the most important so I rarely record my thoughts while walking (although I do have my Iphone with me to record the hours and time and could make notes if I thought it important).

Today, I saw an article in the New Yorker, written by Ferris Jabr and published September 3, 2014 titled, Why Walking Helps Us Think.  Of course I was drawn to the article as I thought of my walking habit as a solo activity and did not know others made the connection between walking and thinking.

The article shares some background on “the curious link between mind and feet” focusing on writers who benefitted from walking and the literature.  Then the author hit mw with a chemistry connection between walking, thinking and writing.  He states:

“When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs – including the brain.”

He then goes on the share the results of actual experiments of the impact walking makes on an individual’s mood, creating innovating ideas and boosting insights.

I appreciated the article and the author’s framework and analyses on how walking helps us organize the world around us.

For me I walk to enjoy my neighbor and explore the wider world, exercise for better health and make observations at a slower pace.  It was validating to learn that there is research to enhance my original reasons for walking to increasing my thinking and as others can judge share my insights through my blogs.

Terry Pickeral
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Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickeral, has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations, evaluation and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
Terry Pickeral
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