There is one thing that each of my favorite fictional heroines had in common: they each placed value in and enjoyed the routine of a daily walkabout. Elizabeth Bennett would take walks to enjoy the fresh country air. Anne Shirley would seek adventure with each journey and would often pursue the road less traveled. She would take walks through haunted woods and would run down the sand dunes of Prince Edward Island. Jane Eyre’s journeys were always a matter of the heart. She would travel by foot across the haunting moors of England until her heart could rest, no matter how exhilarating or painful the journey.
These protagonists of classic literature have always been my inspiration. For the start of 2017, I decided to follow in their footsteps, figuratively speaking of course. One of my goals for this month was to reach my daily step count and one of the ways I planned to achieve this was to take an evening walk after dinner. I wanted to be active after supper time and avoid sitting in front of the television all evening.
While I would like to say that this lifestyle change was a walk in the park, I’ll be frank and say that this change of habit did bring its share of challenges. The winter months make it difficult to feel motivated, period. When I decided to make this lifestyle change happen, the temperature happened to drop about twenty degrees the same day. The first few nights that I made the effort to venture out for a walk, I had failed to dress for the weather. I would quickly return home, park myself on the couch with a hot cup of tea. Apart from the cold, the sun sets early, and walking in the dark, though thrilling, is not very motivating. After the first few days of forgetting my winter gloves and slipping on ice in the dark, I did manage to reach my stride by instead, going for late afternoon walks.
Now, after 15 days into this new routine – my daily walks have become not just a habit but a necessity. I embrace the cold and fresh winter air and feel refreshed upon my return home. While this fitness regimen is by no means revolutionary, it was the first step I needed to get back into shape for the New Year. With the help of Lizzy, Anne and Jane, here are some tips that helped me get into this new routine:
- I go on walks with a kindred spirit. Walking with a friend helps me get motivated.
- I switch up my walking routes, by sometimes taking the road less traveled.
- I always check the weather before my walk so that I can dress for the weather and terrain.
- Walking for me is more than just a fitness routine. It’s an opportunity to reflect and clear my mind.
- Lastly, but most importantly, I always make sure I have a hot cup of tea waiting for my return home.