Last May I threw out my treadmill. I would open it up a couple times a week and walk/run for one hour as I watched some rerun. The rest of the time it would take up space, a large charcoal colored intruder standing next to the couch.
I didn’t like how the thing looked, so I moved it out to the shed.
Not only does the room look brighter I am back to walking outside every day for five miles. Had I not gotten rid of the thing I would not have seen the field of a thousand dragon flies this past August, or the four migrating red-tailed hawks this last week, the eagle that roosts nearby, or the many other encounters with wild-life.
There are no reruns on this walk.
I wouldn’t have met Jeff, the young man with the mechanical heart. He drove by me today and stopped to visit (this is not uncommon on the country road I “tread” each day.) He even got out of his truck to have me listen to his heart which he says keeps him up at night because it pounds so loud. He told me some of his story of being deployed for six years in Afghanistan. He is the only survivor from his group. He was a Green Beret. He said’ “it’s a politician’s war” and that no one should be over there. He was a sharp shooter. He would probably be dead if it weren’t for his kids.
I am glad this guy is our neighbor.
My affirmative experiences walking outside are supported by recent research — the same time walking outside burns more calories and affects one’s psychological and emotional state more favorably than the same time on a treadmill. You also get that natural sunlight as your biorhythms become more in sync with nature. Walking outside is a known antidote to depression, obesity, writer’s block and loneliness.
Sometimes all we really need is a walk outside.