Friday, November 17, 2017

A walk in the woods and why I quit running

A girlfriend recently told me that she doesn’t like to go for walks, because it doesn’t seem to make as much sense as using the time for sports. Like Yoga, or runs.
At least- as she said- there should be some action. Some muscle training, sweat and exhaustion. Otherwise you’re just shuffling around with no serious ambition.
I beg to differ. One thing I love about this fresh season, is to calm down on a walk through the woods and inhale all the beauty that fall delivers on a golden platter.
While jogging, I used to focus on a thousand other things instead of just letting my mind wander.
The correct cycle of breathing, the speed- to avoid stitches. The ground, to avoid a broken ankle.
I know how people who run frequently, praise the benefits of jogging. But I never truly felt that it was the right thing for me. Sometimes it was impossible to place my foots exactly right, so I wouldn’t suffer from pain either in my knees, or shins. (The latter is a real joy, once it’s permanent.)

Walking, on the other hand, is beneficial in several ways to me:
My breathing cycle completely is in line with my movements. The mind wanders, the eye catches the details surrounding me. And the walk becomes a meditative journey.
Even scientists have recently found out, that walking might be actually healthier and can improve your longevity, more that intense jogging and overly exhausting exercise can.
To me, that was almost a no-brainer, since I don’t believe that a too extreme workout regimen is good for the heart either. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign found that a regularly too intense activity increases levels of certain inflammatory proteins that can allow viruses to thrive.
That explained to me why I might have been catching a cold very easily and more often during long periods of prolonged exercises.
Also the common belief that increased weight loss is a safe result due to intense sports, seems to be outdated as well.
You could work the heck out of your body while sticking to a bad diet, and not much would happen. 

For the record: I would never say that running in general is bad. For some people, it‘s the best workout and they feel perfectly fine and healthy.
Exercise are vital for a healthy life and there is no way around it, if you really want to keep up a healthy lifestyle.
Generally though, I guess there is no such thing as a perfect workout for everyone.
We sometimes have to adjust our methods, and exercise the way our body thrives on the movements. Not punish ourselves for that one cookie too much.
A healthy way of exercising means to me, a healthy way of thinking too. Be gentle with your body, so you can still enjoy sports without the ultimate exhaustion, that sure isn‘t always a sign for the healthiest way.
I will do some Yoga this week, since rain is expected for a few days. And when the sun visits us again, I‘m out for the next walk. Wandering towards a happy place, physically and mentally.

Entire outfit: True vintage 1950s-1960s


  1. Your blog resonates with me. I love taking a walk in the woods. All round me I see runners pushing themselves for one more turn along the path, heart pumping, muscles glistening with sweat and I wish I could tell them to slow down and not be so hard on their bodies...
    Walking is my most precious me-time, for contemplation both inner and the beauty of nature around me.

  2. So well written! You seem to have so many talents!

  3. I agree ,walking is the best ..makes you feel you are connected to everything .I feel more a live , the breeze of cold touching my skin is helping me to wake ,and know beauty is everywhere .As the fall whispers in my ears I arrived, I smile and enjoy this beauty with the gratitude of living .Thank you for sharing your essence ,and connecting with the other part of you.MD

  4. I agree with you Lilly. I was a runner for years but stopped a few months ago as I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I’ve been trying to go for a walk every day and have cut down on cake and chocolate (a little bit) and I feel much happier :-)

  5. Dear Lily, Oh I so get this. Thank you. Actually reading this made me feel ok about why I quit running last year. I never realised until now that running really isn't for me because of the reasons mentioned here. All this time I thought I was lazy..but that wasn't it at all. I too love walks. <3

  6. Replies
    1. Haha, yes, that's what I thought too. :)

  7. I completely agree! Walking is infinitely better, and I always absorb my surroundings more and think clearer when I walk. :)

  8. I couldn't agree more on what you wrote.
    Being healthy is not just about physical, but mental health. As I see walking is the best way to achieve both of them.

  9. I went for a walk earlier today on this beautiful February day...took my little fat dog, much nicer than slogging along on a treadmill. We had a lovely outing, and plan many more.

  10. I hate running too- tried it very briefly a few years ago and it wasn't for me either. I prefer walking, and often do 2 mile walks to save bus fare! The exercise is good as well.