On Walking

A 2004 Awake! article entitled “Why Take a Walk?” mentioned many health benefits to walking: it reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, illness in general, osteoporosis; improves sleep, cognitive function, strength, flexibility, stamina, weight loss, and weight maintenance; conteracts depression, anxiety, and tension. It included a couple good quotes:

Walking is man’s best medicine.—Hippocrates

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.—G.M. Trevelyan

Then there’s this quote, via The New Yorker:

Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.—Henry David Thoreau

The same New Yorker article provides further information on how walking improves cognitive function. It improves circulation, memory, and attention, promotes the growth of new neurons, and the creation and use of synapses. Walking is in a “feedback loop” with our emotions and inner dialogue; it can be affected by these or affect them. Walking is linked to innovation and creativity. It’s suggested that walking in green spaces is more beneficial than walking along city streets.

Paraphrasing the article:

Back at the desk it becomes apparent that writing and walking are extremely similar feats, equal parts physical and mental.

Not to walk is not to think.