Friday, June 15, 2007

Walking before Work

Yoohoo! Mental health? Are you there?

I've been taking morning walks before work with my dog in the backcountry behind our house for three months. The good news? I've lost weight. How much? No idea. My clothes are looser. And I feel much much better. Much more balanced. Much less scattered.

My walks are part of working through Vein of Gold, which is a book about dealing with your personal-painful crap in order to be more creative. I believe the back cover is more eloquent than that. The general idea is that with three practices (daily walks, morning writing, and artist dates), you can recover and deepen your creative practices.

It does sound sort of flakey. I really get that this sounds like something for people who wear broomstick skirts. But what I've found is that technical writing is creative, spreadsheets can be creative, accounting practices can be very creative (ha, ha), and that creativity is something everyone needs. And for some reason the walks contribute directly into creativity.

Now I can walk in the morning before work, but who else is walking? I fear not so many people are. While reading the news today, I came across How Children Lost the Right to Roam in Four Generations, which basically describes how cloistered children are today in Great Britain, and I reckon, in the United States. These kids aren't walking without close supervision. And there's a great map in that article that shows how little roaming area kids have in this generation compared to the last three.

Not only is walking healthy for your body, I think it's healthy for your mind. There are great benefits in terms of introducing serenity and peace into your life when you walk in nature. This is not to suggest that nature is serene and peaceful. It's not. It's wild. But there is some physiological reaction that occurs when you are outside in nature that you don't get in a sterile cube.

Via BoingBoing