In an earlier post — The curious relationship between walking and thinking — a Roman saying is quoted: Solvitur ambulando.
It is solved by walking.
That phrase can also be loosely translated as, “It is solved by walking around.”
If they had cars or motorcycles or planes would the Romans have said, “It is solved by driving and flying around” . . . ?
Doubtful. They had horses, they had mules, they had camels. They had tigers! They had chariots and carts and boatery. It wasn’t common usage to utter, “It is solved by carting around.”
Yes, you can get lost in reverie driving or horsing or carting around. But not too lost.
Here’s the magic to walking: It’s in the just-right-effort/low-attention zone.
There is a rhythmic exertion to walking that juices your biological engine just high enough to get lymph and biochemicals and bioelectricality and blood and oxygen flowing — plus toxins evacuating, oh that’s something you want — yet it’s not so taxing that your brain uses up its resources.
In other words, when walking your brain is optimally primed for contemplation. Bodily, everything is flowing. Mentally, little is required.
It is solved by walking.
What is it?
What is solved by walking? Whatever vexes you. Life issues. Finding your next step. Puzzling out how to handle a relationship dilemma. And — fantastically built into walking as a side benefit — health issues.
It’s a twofer. Two for one. Health and mental issues are resolved by walking. Anxiety lessens or departs entirely with a daily walking program.
You can probably guess this already . . . what works as well or better than any combination of anti-depressant drugs? A walking routine!
If you do nothing else but walking daily you will vastly improve the quality of your life. In mood and energy. In thought and result.
How do you start?
By linking it with something you already do. When you wake up. After your first cup of coffee. After breakfast. When you take a lunch break. When you come home from work. Just before dinner. Just after dinner. There are so many natural linkages in a day. I don’t recommend while you are sleeping.
What is the reward? Feeling good. Mentally and physically and soulfully. Walking is a favorite meditation for many a mystic. I’ve had mystic connections of almost weepy bliss while walking . . . you only have to open yourself up to the possibility.
From Jung to Beethoven to Darwin to Kafka to too many others to note, walking has been a favorite activity of some of history’s greatest creators.
So, to start:
Link your walking routine to something you already do.
Anticipate the reward of feeling good.
Notice how you feel afterward — fulfilled. (n happy, n zesty, n ready)
Part of the What creators do series.
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