Walking as Self Care

I don’t know about you but I always find March a little confusing. Beyond its weather that makes you grab a winter jacket one day and nothing but a t-shirt the other, March is just ‘meh.’ It doesn’t have the hope that January holds or the romance February promises. Sure, it is women’s month and we celebrate that loudly and proudly, but everyday should be women's day and March should have less confusion and more relaxation tied to its name.

That is why I decided to name March the ‘self-care month.’ It is the perfect month to slowly get out of your cocoon to transform into your best spring-summer self. It is the perfect transition month. I don’t know about you, but I love showing myself a little bit of TLC. Whether that is sitting in front of the TV, wearing a bathrobe, eating pizza or going to the gym and lifting weights. Recently, I have stumbled upon a lot of literature and research that indicated the benefits of walking. We all heard of 10,000 steps a day but there is actually more to walking than checking off a number of steps. So I wanted to share with you some benefits of walking I learned along the way;

  • It calms you down
  • Decreases sugar cravings
  • Boosts immunity. Pair that with a juice and you are unbreakable.
  • Improves your mood
  • Helps you think and inspires creative thinking
  • Extends your life.

That sounds pretty good to me. Along with the physical and tangible changes that it brings, walking also comes with a philosophical approach to life. Rightfully so. The classic metaphor for life, is a road. This journey that represents our lifetime is tied to the act of walking; we move, we grow and we live.

Recently, I have been reading a lot about the philosophy of walking. This began with Erling Kagge’s book, Walking: One Step At a Time. He writes;

“To walk is something much larger than a list of advantages you can read in an ad for vitamins...Why do we walk? Where do we walk from and what is our destination? We all have our own answers. Even if you and I walk next to each other, we can experience the walk differently.”

We all know Cheryl Strayed’s 1100 mile walk on the the Pacific Crest Trail, where she basically goes on a journey of self-discovery. In her book Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Strayed writes;

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”

Other books include A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros, 52 Ways to Walk: The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, One Week at a Time by Annabel Streets and How to Walk by Thích Nhất Hạnh.

Walking and curiosity go hand in hand. Think of babies; curiosity pushes them to put one shaky leg in front of the other. It is that curiosity and courage to fall that makes them move forward. So during this month of self care, I will be walking. Walking to think, to relax, to move my lovely body and to show courage. Courage to be present.




Here’s a 1,5 hour walking playlist to boost your mood. It has a variety of songs and genres, because, well… Why not?

Photo credit: http://xanpadron.com/index.php?/albums/momentos/content/el-raval/