Walking has been somewhat of a leisure activity in our modern urban lifestyle. We often plan hiking trips on weekends to just get out and enjoy nature. One would think that this is true just for the more developed Western countries, but even in a developing city like Kathmandu, walking is slowly becoming a recreational activity. Because of our addiction to cars, motorbikes, bicycles, buses, trams, and trains, we have left behind our very first mode of transportation. By now, most of us are already familiar with the health benefits of walking, but can there be other benefits one can gain from walking?
I would like to point out three other benefits than just improved health we gain from walking.
1. Getting to know your community – I usually bike to work. During my commute, I hardly notice the changes happening in my community. I am usually focused on the road and the traffic so I can safely get to the office. Sometimes I just walk a few kilometers during my travel to explore the activities and changes happening in and around my community. It helps me stay connected to the place in which I’m living.
2. Meet your fellow city residents – I live in a community that consists of about twenty-five houses. I know most of the residents in my community, but I also live in a much bigger community, the city of Budhanilkantha. I believe walking facilitates the meeting of your fellow residents of your city and getting to know them better.
3. Purposeless Walking – Purposeless walking has been an activity for centuries, but it’s not entirely purposeless. I often take a walk just to spend some time thinking, brainstorming a solution to a problem, or to sharpen my thinking skills. There is something about walking that allows us to think more clearly than when we’re sitting still. This article from BBC reminds us of why exactly we should go on a purposeless walk and how it could help us to think creatively.
Fun fact – Do you know the difference between walking and running, aside from speed? While walking, only one foot at a time leaves contact with the ground whereas running begins with both feet off the ground after push off and subsequently with each step.