We are a creature that is made to move. I am not the first to say this nor am I the first to lament the sedentary nature of most of the country’s population but have you ever noticed how great it feels to just go take a walk? This is not simply your body reacting. Moving is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body AND your mind. Naturally it is best to move with good posture and within our current physical parameters, but move me must and we must do it for all of our time on this planet.
My parents took this idea to a rather extreme point by undertaking the Camino de Santiago de Campostela. If you’re unaware this is a 500 mile walk from southern France across northern Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Campostela in the town of Galicia where the remains of St. James are kept. It has been a religious undertaking since the 9th Century and these days still attracts thousands of people every year. These days not everyone does the Camino for the original purposes of religious pilgrimage. Some want an adventure. Others want some time for introspection (the full route takes over a month to complete). But whatever your reason, there’s only one way to do it: on foot.
This was a big undertaking for my parents and they had to train a lot in preparation. For almost a year in advance, they walked 8-12 miles per DAY and some days longer…at 79 years of age! Their preparation proved wise as they did very well on the Camino, but the year of prep was also great in and of itself. The benefits they feel from the daily movement has built a habit. Although it’s been months since they completed the Camino they still walk miles every day!
The long and short of this post is humans need to move. Please find something you enjoy whether it’s walking, hiking, rock climbing, whatever…just get out there and do it. You will be amazed at how great you feel!