Last Wednesday, students, their parents and friends came together with the staffs and faculties of several Union County schools to celebrate International Walk to School Day by, what else, walking. It was impressive with long lines of men, women and children, some carrying banners and signs, taking to the street to enjoy the outdoors and each others’ company and engage in the most basic and natural form of exercise.
You don’t have to buy a lot of equipment to go for a walk, just the appropriate footwear. There’s not a lot of training involved, just putting one foot in front of the other as you’ve done since you first learned to walk. Not a lot of rules and no referees needed, just common sense and paying attention to traffic and where you put your feet. It can be done during the day or at night and throughout most of the year, just wear the seasonal appropriate clothing and, if needed, take along an umbrella. It can be done alone or with a friend or with several friends.
The advantages of walking are numerous — fresh air, sunlight, the enjoyment of nature and the community; the chance to meet friends along the way and say hello or to make new friends, things that are hard to do from an automobile. Then of course there’s exercise which too many of us seem to be getting less and less of in the Internet age. Prying yourself away from the computer to go outside and go for a walk is for you.
You can — and should — carry your cellphone with you but only in the event of an emergency. Otherwise, leave it in your pocket and pay attention to what’s going on; you might see something beautiful that will be as good for the soul as walking is for the body. Besides, walking down the street texting is a good way to run into a tree, trip over a trashcan and walk out into traffic. It is not recommended.
Walking is good for you and more of us should do it every chance we get and use this simplest and most basic form of exercise to live healthier lives. So start walking and get those you care about to do the same and make every day your own International Walk to a Healthier You and Your Loved Ones Day.