Walking in Winter

By enakshi ganguly

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I just want to go into hibernation. I’ve been sleeping a lot more and eating more warm foods like soup and chilli. This is me every winter. This year though, I want to be more active, more engaging with the weather. This is sweater weather. Cuddling weather. Clean-off-the-summer-dust-from-the-crockpot kind of weather. But with all that, also comes weeks of cloudy skies, rain and no sun, which makes many of us depressed, sleepy, tired, and all around blue.

As a way to keep my spirits up, my goal for this season is to walk outside more. When we walk, our bodies warm up and feel good hormones like endorphins release, making us feel fresh and free. If you’re in a wheelchair or use other walking aids, you can partake in rolling or walking as well. The benefits are the same! Brisk walking is also good for circulation as it moves our blood and gets our heart to pump more oxygen rich blood in the system. Walking is also one of those activities that is low intensity, which means that you don’t have to go on an hour long walk to enjoy the benefits of walking. Just ten to fifteen minutes is enough! That sounds really good to me, especially because all I want to do is lay in bed and drink hot tea. Here are some ways that I’m going to be walking this season:

  • Find a time
    • I am a habitual person. If I eat at 8:30 PM one day, chances are that if I’m deliberate enough, I will eat at 8:30 PM every day. However, like some folks, my work schedule is erratic. Some days I don’t get home till 10 at night while other days are closer to the 9 to 5 norm. In my case, I want to take time before the beginning of each week to assess my schedule and see what time I can fit in my walking every day (or however many days I decide to walk every week). Though it won’t be at a uniform time, I’ll still be able to get my walking in.
  • Figure out what you need from your walk
    • Every time I go to walk, I know I will seek something different from it. Some days, I may want to enjoy the weather and listen to my favorite songs. Other days, I might want to listen to a podcast or not listen to anything other than my thoughts. Walking may also be an opportunity to catch up with friends, so I could invite them to walk with me or call them up while I walk. Another purpose of walking might be to get a smoothie or check out an event down the road. There are so many possibilities, and I want to keep checking in with myself every time I go out to walk to see what I want my walk to be like that day, knowing that my walking experience is not going to be static or a chore for me to tick off the to-do list.
  • Wear warm and comfortable clothes
    • Once it gets cold, I take absolutely no chances. I layer up! I like to wear some comfortable thick sweats, a tank top, a sweater, a jacket, a hat and a scarf (can you tell I get cold easily?). The best part of wearing layers is if I get hot while walking, I can just take off a few layers and feel comfortable again.
  • Pace yourself
    • I know I can get tired of any activity quickly, so I don’t want to do the same thing every day. Mindfully taking the time to go for a walk around the neighborhood is an activity I want to do about 2 to 3 times a week. Ideally I would like to walk for at least 30 minutes. Anything more than that and I know I will burn myself out.

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What are you looking forward to this season? Do you like to walk? What brings you most joy about it? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@allgoqpoc) and Instagram (@allgoqpoc)!