Today is known in the U.S. as “Take A Walk In the Park Day.” Why? Because it’s hopefully getting a little warmer outside, with Spring on the way. And because there’s an extra hour of daylight offered, there’s no better time to get outside, take a walk and appreciate nature. But let’s not forget that walking is a window into our own past as humans.
As early humans, we walked everywhere, from continent to continent, in search of food. Now, we’re separated from nature by living in houses and driving cars. And these are both great conveniences. But along the way, we’ve strayed from our primordial roots in an effort to get more chores done throughout the day.
Restore Chief Health Architect, Dan Pardi MS, PhD is a huge fan of walking, and he has spoken at length about how he will “de-convenience” his life to get more steps in each day. Some days, he parks farther away from the office then he needs to. Other days, he’ll leave the office and walk while he’s taking meetings over the phone. He’s combined walking with chores he can do outside of the car.
“My go-to activity is walking outside,” says Dr. Pardi. “Low intensity physical activity like walking is more valuable than is often discussed. Can you think of a physical activity you’d prefer to sustain in your life over walking? It’s foundational to the human experience. It’s also something that is easy to engineer into life. You don’t need special clothes or even special shoes, you can simply step outside and go for a walk, and I try to do this 3-to-4 times a day. And it’s not just physical activity. It’s sunshine, its temperature variation, it’s time to think or not think, it’s allowing yourself distance vision and greenery exposure, and more.”
All too often, we take walking for granted, when in fact it’s providing all of the above and more. In fact, walking may improve mood, lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases, and increase brain power. But it doesn’t stop there. Walking can also help save money on gas, cut down on carbon emissions and help you explore your surroundings more intimately.
So this year, Take A Walk In The Park day doesn’t mean you should find a park and make it your duty to walk. It’s your opportunity to bring walking back into your daily routine on a new level, connect with your surroundings and get back to your roots. Along the way, you might do your health (and the planet) a favor!