Walking is an awesome “sport”: it is free, you can do it anytime, you don’t need to change or shower (as long as you don’t climb hills or stairs!), you don’t need to check with the doctor if it’s ok for you to walk (in most of the cases), you don’t need physical preparation and it can choose how long it will last every time! Also, because you don’t need to go to a specific place (such as the gym) or at a specific time (as for a football match with friends or a class booking), it is very flexible and gives you a different experience every time. The only con you might tell me is: “I get bored”. But now even that is not an excuse, because I’m going to give you a list of 10 things that you can do while walking, that will help you be more productive, relax or learn. You’ll be looking forward to the next when the walk is over!
1. Listening to a podcast/radio show
If you regularly listen to a podcast or radio show, this might be your right time to go for a walk. Instead of settling in the sofa for the rest of the afternoon, why don’t you have a 1h walk while you listen to that exciting episode of your favorite business podcast, or you schedule your walk during the 4pm crime story series on BBC radio that you got hooked to a year ago?
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2. Learning a new language/improving your language skills
I agree that you cannot go for a walk and start talking French to strangers in the middle of the street, BUT, you can always do your listening right? It will save you some language learning time at home, and you mentioned your kids don’t stop shouting while you try to listen to your French tapes, so put them in your iPod and learn French on the go.
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3. Planning your next week/a particular event
Planning always takes time and careful thinking. Whether for your work next week, your holidays or your wedding, it’s always good to have a clear idea in your mind of what you want to do in the future. So why not balancing pros and cons of, say, going to California with your parents this summer instead of Florida with your friends? If you need to make a mental note, try to have a voice recorder or your phone at hand – you can use software like Dictadroid or Evernote to both record and turn speech into text. If you are walking in a crowded street this might be a bit weird, but you can think of it as if you were talking on the phone with someone, or you can walk in streets that are less busy (or the countryside).
4. Meditating about your current situation and your future
If you are having problems or you want to change something in your life, you want to talk to yourself in private. Try to find out why you got to that situation in the first place, what is it that you really want to achieve and how you can get there from where you are.
5. Walking with a family member/friend
This is an excellent time to catch up with that friend from school that you haven’t seen for two months. Establish a routine of walking to your favorite pub instead of taking the car (this way you can drink your two pints and not feel guilty that you’re going to drive home later, and your walk back will help eliminate the alcohol effects before you see your wife at home).
6. Visiting new areas of your city (always safely)
Ever had some friends come over to your town who asked for the top 10 places they should visit, and you know none? There you go, visit those places yourself and give them a guide’s insights on what’s the best route to cover the 20 unknown gems of (name your town). They will be thrilled! Or better still, be their guide.
Just make sure that the areas you’re exploring are safe for newbies.
7. Enjoying the beautiful countryside
There is one thing that I love to do that will recharge anyone’s batteries: observing nature. Walking in nature can balance the confusion and stress of everyday life, and helps segregate of endorphins to the brain.
There is nothing better to feel alive than a walk in the countryside: it relaxes the senses, invigorates our legs and makes us feel better because it minimizes the problems with such grandeur and beauty. It makes us feel in communion with life itself because, in essence, we belong to nature.
You can do this in the weekends, if you have a countryside house, or you can do it in the largest park of your city or town, preferably in the early morning when there are less people (this will also give you the early bird feeling). Having breakfast at home after a walk in the nature is one of the best experiences I have ever had.
8. Listening to music
As a standalone thing to do, this can help you relax and synchronize with your walking pace. In addition, you can use the music to inspire you with new projects or ideas, plan your wedding soundtrack or think about the new album you’re going to offer your mate for his birthday. Or try new music you had never heard of before.
9. Getting back home from work
Having a definite goal is the best motivation to keep walking. If you work a 30min walk away from home, start saving on fuel and exercise everyday!
10. Calling a friend
Sometimes we don’t have the time to catch up with all the friends we have. Maybe this week, instead of going three times to the gym, go twice and have a 1 hour chat with your friend who moved to Hawaii, while you stretch your legs. You will give him a pleasant surprise.
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