The importance of a morning walk – By @LawrenceESlater

By Lawrence Slater

The importance of a morning walk

My lil doggie Lacey was three yesterday. For three years I have walked her daily. Sometimes just once, sometime a couple of times a day. Our usual morning routine would be nipping across the road to Dulwich Park in South London where I would throw a tennis ball for her to fetch. I always enjoy how after every single throw, she will put in 100 percent effort to chase that ball. Every throw for Lacey is like a new game she’s never played before.
There is something beautifully therapeutic and rewarding about playing fetch with your dog. Throwing the ball followed by Lacey bringing it back to me is such a simple activity yet so satisfying. I guess there is some kind of parental pride you get. This is my dog and she wants to bring it back to me! It cements your relationship, I’m taking you for a walk and you’re being a good dog.
This 30minutes every morning is probably one of my favourite parts of the day. It forces me to wake up earlier and leave the house. It is one of those activities that is easy to put off or not value but is always enjoyed and never regretted.
She ruptured her cruciate ligament on one of her back legs in September and had an operation and has had to rest since. The vet has clearly instructed she is not to be walked.
Since this, I’ve obviously had to stop walking her. At first, I didn’t really notice but after a few weeks, I think my general mood slightly changed.
This routine normally gives me a time every day where I’m by myself in the park, it allows me to reflect on what been happening and what is happening that day. It keeps me calm, relaxes my mind and puts everything in perspective. It makes me think of any problems I have at the time don’t really matter.
When searching online the benefits of walking page after page comes up with physical benefits to your body “reduces the risk of cancer, increases metabolism” and so on. These obviously are great benefits but as someone that exercises a lot anyway, I do not think these really apply to me.
Most things you do in a day are at a fast pace. You are trying to get them done and move onto the next thing. Aimlessly wandering around the park is the opposite and helps you see the world and your life from a different angle. It offers a new perspective. There is some magic to it that I am currently missing.
“I usually take a walk after breakfast, write for three hours, have lunch and read in the afternoon. Demons don’t like fresh air – they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet; for a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines. If I let myself go, nothing will get done.”
Philip told me about this quote from Ingmar Bergman a Swedish director. I think this sums this up perfectly. I found another quote when searching online for the mental health benefits of going on walks. This is by George Macauley Trevelyan, I have not idea who he is or who he was but this resonates perfectly with me.
“After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.”

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