- It’s nice to get out into nature. Sure, I live in the highly-over paved suburbs and there aren’t any nearby woods to hike, but we do have a couple (man-made) lakes and a field and some of the houses have trees in the yards. Mostly, it’s nice to hear birds chirping, to run into the occasional kitten, and to see the ever-changing sky. Plus since we usually walk in the afternoon, I am often witness to some particularly eye-pleasing sunsets. I can only imagine Willy enjoys them as well.
- Walking is good for me…and you! Since I began walking, and when I am walking consistently, I have more energy and stamina. I want to eat healthier and therefore make better nutritional and lifestyle decisions. I feel and am getting stronger with every step I take. Plus, walking does wonders for my health including lowering my blood pressure, decreasing my chances of obesity, reducing my risk of type-2 diabetes, improving my blood sugar levels, reducing my risk of coronary heart disease, improving my mental state (therefore keeping things like anxiety and depression at bay), etc.
- It makes my son happy. Willy loves going on these walks, which usually conclude with a stop by the bench near our house, where there’s room to run around in. He also enjoys walking down to the edge of the lake and back to his stroller. Keeping my son happy like this means when he goes back inside the house, he’s calm and more apt to play on his own, eat without fuss, and sleep more soundly. If you have a toddler, you know how much this means for everyone’s sanity.
- Getting my daily dose of Vitamin D. Last time I went to the doc, I was told my vitamin D levels were a bit low. Surprising especially since I live in always-sunny South Florida. I know these walks are also helping me increase these levels (although I do take supplements).
- It’s my time to listen to podcasts. I have become a bit of a podcast-o-holic since these walks began. If I feel like hearing other parents divulge their life stories so I don’t feel so alone in the parenting game, I tune into The Longest Shortest Time. If it’s good, straight from the heart stories I want, it’s The Moth. I am a big fan of the courageous stories by prochoice women on The Abortion Diary Podcast. Recently, after reading an article about empowering podcasts (via Vivala.com), I began listening to Radio Albulante (which is kind of like This American Life in Spanish–and yes, I also enjoy TAL). For wise ads interviews, there’s WTF with Marc Maron. For inspiration on feeling happy, I listen to old episodes of The Science of Happiness. The list goes on…
In short, unless it’s raining out or we’re sick, we try to get one of these walks in Monday thru Friday (and sometimes on weekends). It’s good for both of us plus the podcast aspect means I find both a little education and inspiration.
It’s a bit rainier these days, but we’ll still be attempting our near-daily walks and reporting back about the stories we heard, the animals we ran in to, the flowers we stopped to smell, and the revelations we may have had.