As anyone who has read my blog knows, I love to walk. Walking brings freedom, space to think, an opportunity to ‘just be’, peace and solitude. As a therapist I find I need some peace and solitude, walking allows me to leave other people’s woes where they belong. I do like to go for the odd long walk with friends. The onset of the month of March has brought some nice sunny days even with a chilly lazy wind (goes right through you, too lazy to go around) it has been good dry walking weather. My legally wedded has decided to walk with me the past three days which is nice insomuch it is nice that he wants to share my time but part of me wants to walk alone, it is what I do. Also I like to choose where I walk. However, on reflection I am jolly lucky to have somebody who wants to be with me. Today he wanted to walk to look at something he is considering purchasing and, suggested we walked to the showroom together, I was not keen but as I was able to ensure that the route we took was up my favourite lane I agreed. Life is like that, negotiation, give and take. Anyway I know that as soon as the weather turns again I will walking on my own. 🙂
Today my walk took me around Hurcott Woods, it is a beautiful walk, the thing I like about it is I can walk the perimeter in approximately 45 minutes and get a decent workout with fantastic views. I start by walking along the pools at the bottom of the hill with the huge ancient oaks and chestnut trees banking on my left, firstly the big pool where the ducks, geese and coots live then the smaller waterways where trees grow out of the water like swamp land (no alligators in Worcestershire though ), then the climb that is bordered by a narrow country lane with high banked hedgerows. The wood at this end always reminds me of the forests I walked in, in Germany, the trees are all evergreen firs. At the top of the hill and all along the top of the wood are fields which today are a beautiful spring green as the early barley makes it’s presence known. WE then drop back down to the car park through bare prickly larch and silver trees standing tall and elegant. Throughout the walk I noticed little pointy, green shoots, the promise of a carpet of bluebells later in the spring. I love bluebells! As I walked and observed these pointy little shoots it occurred to me that bluebells will have bloomed here for hundreds of years before I was born, and they will bloom again after I have gone. It matters not if I come and see them, they will push up through the earth in glory of colour. Long after my worries and anxieties have passed there will be bluebells. That is what I love about this country, no matter what else changes some things are constant … matters of nature just go on with or without us, sort of puts stuff into context doesn’t it?
The sun shone this afternoon hurrah! It wasn’t wet underfoot hurrah! The temperature rose to above freezing hurrah! In fact is was almost tropical at 5 degrees centigrade. So boots on and off I went for a nice walk. I recently noticed a signpost for a footpath I have not seen before, so I decided that today, would be an excellent day to investigate. I was so glad that I did because it took me up the side of a farm yard and out onto a field path. I was treated to loads of fresh air, nobody else in sight, beautifully ploughed fields, peace and quite. I even managed to see a heron as it took flight from a fishing pond I passed. I love to see herons and storks, I always think there is something prehistoric about them. Even though I am fond of taking regular walks up a local lane and looking at the changes in the hedgerows, this afternoon was a real treat. It does us good to go to get out of our ruts now and again. The breeze blew away my cobwebs and I thought of some new ideas for a course I am putting together. Fresh air, exercise and new ideas, what could be better?
- No matter if you take the same walk every day, there is always something different to see including people, birds, animals and plants. Buds appear, bloom, die and berries take their place. Even the sky and clouds provide a picture of constant change.
- Walks give us an opportunity to put some distance between us and worries or concerns. If we immerse ourselves in nature we can often forget our problems and woes. Also, a little distance and time to think often helps us to find a new prospective and solutions to problems.
- Health benefits, some research suggests that walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases.
- If you are unable to walk in the countryside find a safe walk where you live or work, you may get to know the locality better and meet interesting neighbours you did not know you had.
- Walking to help us to loose and maintain our weight. Walking helps us to build healthy lean muscle, lose inches of fat, and pump up our metabolism; of course if we are walking for the purpose of losing weight we have to still use common sense with our diet.
- Walking in common with other forms of exercise can improve our mood and help with stress relief. Walk and other exercise leads to the release of the body’s natural happy drugs – endorphins.
- Walking is free!!
- You don’t have to have specialist equipment. Okay so shoes are important you don’t get far in high heels
- Unlike other forms of exercise such as tennis or badminton you don’t have to rely on other participating with you. If you want to walk alone you can. Of course some people prefer to walk with friends or walking clubs.
- You can wear a silly hat and crazy boots and nobody seems to notice.