Walking is my thing, it’s always been my thing. Even as a small child it was my thing – to calm me, to get me to sleep, I was walked.As I got older and hit my teens and life became more of a struggle whenever I was stressed or anxious my Dad would take me out walking. Now admittedly he would take me out walking with the promise of some sort of reward at the end which as I got much older became the reward of a pint of Guinness and a portion of chips, guaranteed to get me to walk anywhere!
But the fact of the matter is, when I have felt anxious, when I have needed to think about things and suss stuff out I have either taken myself off for a walk or gone walking with those nearest and dearest to me and 99% of the time it has helped.
Now obviously I have tried many forms of exercise some of which I’ve loved others not so much, but what I’m very well aware of is all the women out there particularly, who are constantly looking for the ideal exercise for themselves, their thing. The pressure we put ourselves under, the pressure we sometimes feel from others and I have to say particularly social media, means that we are forever looking for that thing, that thing that we will enjoy, will keep us fit and healthy.
My friend Michelle who owns her own Pilates studio, the wonderful Pilates Pod and is also the founder of Mind Movement Matters, has always stated that you just need to move as the most important thing is actually just doing something. She’s a great advocate of finding your thing whatever your thing may be but at the same time not putting pressure on yourself to be a gym bunny, a Yogi, a wild swimmer or even a Pilates expert but to do whatever brings you joy and gets you moving.
I’ve always thought I was one of those people that just didn’t listen to others but now in my 50s I realise that I too have constantly been looking for my thing but based on what everyone else either seemed to enjoy/love or thought I “should” be doing. I’ve enjoyed yoga very much, I danced through my childhood and teens and still love dancing now, but I felt this constant need to find exercise! I hated the gym, my lifestyle doesn’t really allow me to commit to classes – What proper exercise could I do, should I do?
There is something very liberating realising that actually the thing you really love doing, that you really enjoy is walking and I don’t mean just a gentle stroll I mean a good old-fashioned stomp getting your body moving. It’s the time where I meditate, it’s a time for me to either think about everything or think about nothing, most importantly it’s time for me. I breathe properly, I notice more, I LOVE it!
So I guess what I’m saying is try not to stress over what you should and shouldn’t be doing, it’s not about that, it’s about what you enjoy doing, it’s about what you can manage to do, it’s about finding something that you can fit into your day that gets you moving that gives you space, that gives you time for you however big or small that period of time is and if that’s walking, so be it get out there and walk and thoroughly enjoy it! Own it, love it and don’t listen to anybody else about the should’s and should nots!