Walking or a lie in?

Ruth Warden

23 / 5 / 2016 11.35am

To continue the recognition of National Walking Month, Ruth Warden, assistant director of development and employment at NHS Employers, has written a second blog about her love of walking. In this, Ruth explains the benefits of a morning walk - which are more than exercise alone. 

Walking or a lie in?

Sunday morning is my turn to do the early morning dog walk!  To be fair, on a Sunday my husband gets to stand on a touch line watching my youngest son play football, so I don’t come off too badly.  It’s not always easy to get out of bed, but with the lighter mornings and warmer weather it is getting better.

I like the solitude of my early morning walks with the dog, she doesn’t say much so I’ve got time and space to think, but  on a Sunday it all changes!  Who would have thought that Sunday mornings were such a hive of activity, especially as I live in a quiet place.

Last Sunday I counted 25 people, all out and about early on Sunday…..what on earth were they all doing?  Well, other dog walkers are always about so there were some of them, then the older gentlemen out to buy the Sunday papers, joggers – lots of them, cyclists – lots of them, felt like the Tour de Yorkshire was passing by at times and then people just out for an early morning walk. 

What strikes me about all this activity is that every person I passed by said, “Hello”, “Good morning”, passed some pleasantries about the weather or stopped to stroke the dog.  Even the cyclists waved and shouted “hello” as they peddled by.  There is a real sense of community and connection.  Without fail I come home and feel much better than when I left the house.  I’ve had some exercise, I’ve had time to think, but I’ve also connected in a small way with a whole host of people. 

My Sunday walks remind me that health and well being is much wider than getting fit, walking, running, doing zumba, joining a gym or eating the right food.  Of course I do get some exercise by walking and to be fair the Sunday walk is always longer because I’ve got more time, but it is the social aspect that really makes the day, the connection with people.  There is a small community of us on a Sunday morning who all understand the solitude of the particular type of exercise we are doing, but who also take the time to greet a fellow early riser – and that is what makes it so special.

Read Ruth's first blog: these boots were made for walkingFind out more about how you can get involved with National Walking Month this May through #Try20.

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