Approximately 4 years ago I decided to walk for 30 minutes every day. I was seriously overweight and had made other changes to my lifestyle – see earlier post – but my fitness level was pretty dodgy. 30 minutes a day – manageable I thought, and I was right.
Now it’s a part of my life. I don’t have to think about it. I go for a quick walk, or a long walk, or I walk to the butchers, or I walk to the next bus stop – I build it in without too much planning now.
Or I mix it up and go for a bike ride – still 30 minutes. Minimum.
Or I go for a swim.
Or I do 2 of the above in a day.
And I can thoroughly recommend it. I have lost kilos and centimeters / pounds and inches. I have gone down 5 sizes in trousers. My muscles are stronger. My body is healthier. And it costs nothing – apart from a good pair of walking shoes.
Besides that, I have started to really see where I live. I live in a town – it’s pretty industrialized (Mars and Campina are just down the road) and very close to the motorway. Okay it’s Noord Brabant which to the Dutch means out in the sticks, but there are variations of stick.
But by walking around each day over the course of a few years I have come to notice a lot more.
I can show you where you can see a green woodpecker. I know where the swans nest. I know where a pair of jays have made there home. I can take you to the prettiest trees each week throughout the autumn. I know where there are stone circles to be found in front gardens. I see the first set of ducklings. I know when the Canada geese arrive and leave. I have found sweet chestnut trees. I know where once domesticated rabbits run free. I can find holly with really good berries. I know where the pheasant lives. I know where the red squirrels have made their home (the only place I have ever seen one!). I know where teenagers lurk, where puppy training happens, where ducks are fed, where fish spawn…all within 30 minutes of my front door.
This year I’ve really started to notice individual trees. There are some doozies!
Here’s where I live – the last days of autumn in Veghel:
When I started I had to time myself; 30 minutes took along time. It was an effort. Now I don’t have to look at the time, and I always do more than 30 – there’s so much to see. And I enjoy it. I also walk with a friend once a week – we do an hour – but then I don’t see anything, too busy chatting. The combination is perfect. The results most pleasing.
This week I have set myself a new walking challenge. Each week I shall pick a theme/word and that’s what I will look for. Then every Wednesday I’ll post a collection of what I found.
For my first week I shall start with a Dutch theme – Bicycles.
(Suggestions of themes are more than welcome.)