November 02, 2010

A Constitutional

Walking is seriously underrated. Fact.

We went on various local hikes over the halfterm break, and with a few pub lunches thrown in, the children didn't die of boredom as they feared they might. I love the idea of connecting them by memory to the landscapes of their childhood, even though I don't expect them to appreciate this for several decades! Infact, the long, teenage faces in the car, were soon chatting, laughing and pink with exertion. They did have some properly choice views (of John Bunyan's 'Delectable Mountains'), to take in along the way,

and while the cows ignored us,
 and a buzzard circled overhead,  the boys took a break from jumping over gates
and throwing a rugby ball to eachother, long enough to take in the view and remember it is quite nice to have a sibling really.
It strikes me that walking is just so generous in its benefits. As the philosopher, A.C.Grayling wrote in an article in The Times, "To walk the country lanes and hills is to fall into step with the rest of nature; that is the pace of the cattle and the crops, the breeze, the shifting clouds. You do not see these in the proper time frame when you dash by them in a car or train...Walking, therefore, is good for one's sense of proportion. That, in turn, is good for one's mental health." He also notes that whilst increasing physical fitness, walking also provides the imagination with space to be creative, quoting Henry Thoreau who apparantly said, "When my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow", and that is something I know to be true. So each benefit extends the next and really, what's not to like?

So, at the risk of sounding like your formidable Great-Aunt Mabel, remember your daily constitutional!


  1. Yes Auntie!!
    Like you, a firm believer in the restorative powers of being outdoors, though for me, it works just being in the garden as well as marvelling at the countryside and Mother Nsture in her autumn designer colours.

  2. Maggie, I think you are right, being outdoors is the key, and taking exercise is a bonus. x

  3. A daily walk feeds the soul, and is a healthy form of exercise.
    The fresh air helps too!

  4. Very sound advice, I walk everyday and really miss it if I miss a day. Really does help to sort the brain out.

  5. What a wonderful walk and a lovely day by the looks of it - all golden and mellow.

    I really love the Grayling quote.


  6. Hostess, I could not agree more!x

    Sue, it is so great how walking affects the mind aswell as legs.x

    Jeanne, thanks so much. I want to read more Grayling.x

    T - your so kind!x

  7. What beautiful countryside! I will take your advice and embark on a ramble this afternoon :)

  8. Belinda, why do I let myself go so many days without visiting the awesomeness of your blog? I am constantly thrilled by your words. I heartily concur with your walking stance, sympathize with your packaging thrills, and can't wait to see some of your jewelry (I haven't missed its appearance on the blog, have I?). And I am really looking forward to watching Sir Ken Robinson's speech on education tonight. Thank you for posting all the wonderful things!