If you read my recent post, ‘Life Lessons From a Fitness Tracker’, you would know that I’ve recently become reacquainted with my Fitbit, after a long lay-off.
My stats are gradually improving, if not exactly hitting Olympian levels. But I’ve realised that my exercise doesn’t have to be extreme to be beneficial. Unlikely as you are to find me power walking past you at high speed, I’ve rediscovered another type of power walking – drawing on the power of Nature.
This area of the country used to be scattered with coal mines and the railway tracks that served them. One of the few positives from the demise of the pits, is that a wealth of parks and trails have been landscaped in their place, to create an environmental legacy throughout the local countryside.
Just a short drive from my home, I can be walking on a secluded country trail. One minute, I’m strolling through a steep-sided cutting, hewn from its sandstone bed over century ago. And the next, I’m high on an embankment, looking down on a herd of sheep, through the canopy of trees. On occasion, a gap in the green affords me an unexpected glimpse of a farm. A few times, I walk under stone and ironwork bridges – relics of the industrial past.
On this May afternoon, I was joined by a chorus of happily chirping birds. Later, several horses cantered by. There were dog walkers aplenty, with their furry friends chasing around happily.
Everyone, humans and animals alike, seemed to have the time to say “Hello!” Even the speedy cyclists nodded their heads and gave a cheery thanks as I gave them room to pass. A sprightly senior dog walker told me that all this area was his playground when he was a kid. In the days when there were not only railways here, but steam trains using them.
But mostly, it was peaceful and I had myself for company. And whatever pace I was going, there was no denying the restorative power I drew from this walk.
Nature most certainly nurtures!