Walking for a Week
Hi, everyone! For this week’s article, Lily and I decided to each go on a walk every day. Walking is definitely a common practice of a lot of people during the pandemic, so we decided to document the effects that the extra time outside and extra exercise had on us. I normally walk pretty frequently because I have a dog, but this week I decided to be more mindful about walking and go for a half hour or more. That’s a pretty big time commitment for me, so I wanted to make sure I was making the most out of it. Each day, my goal was to come back home feeling more focused and ready to work on whatever else I had to do that day.
Not surprisingly, that’s what happened! I found that walking helped me not only to relax but also to get out energy that was pent up from spending the whole day at school. Before the pandemic, I didn’t like going for walks because I was always bored. However, now I really look forward to them. One way to keep your walk interesting is to listen to a podcast (I love Emma Chamberlain’s and David Dobrik’s) or play some music! I recommend putting your songs on shuffle because it’s always fun to go from listening to Bhad Bhabie to the Beatles.
Another thing you can do is walk with someone else! Whether it’s your mom or a friend (socially distanced), talking with someone is a great way to pass time and also reflect on your day. On Tuesday, I went on a walk at night with my mom and my dog. It was really nice to just talk and hang out, even though it was freezing.
Finally, you can also plan out the rest of your day. On Friday, I was really stressed, so during my walk I went on my Notes app (please be careful if you’re on your phone and near cars!) and made a schedule for the rest of the day. That way, I could do something with the motivation that my walk gave me. Even though I spent over two and a half hours walking this week, I actually felt like I gained time. I definitely want to keep this up but maybe modify the schedule a little bit if I feel like my motivation/productivity is decreasing.
Being outside is one of my favorite things in the world. Despite my love for the outdoors, school and activities often prevent me from being in nature. Setting aside time this week allowed me to reconnect with nature and walking outside. I am lucky to live near the C&O canal and trails, so I was able to diversify the routes I took. Throughout the week I had trouble finding time to walk before the sunset, and I found myself walking before school a couple times. Walking became a way for me to calm my brain and relax. I was also able to get my dog some extra exercise. After I went for a walk, I felt more focused and ready to continue with or begin my work for the day. Although walking was beneficial for me, in the future I'm going to adjust the amount of time I walk and follow a less rigid schedule. I hope that I can continue to integrate walking into my life and make it a priority for me. Sometimes the pressure of school and busy schedules take people's focus away from walking and being outside. Despite this obstacle, if people can find a few minutes daily to be outside or just relax, focus and happiness can improve.