By now it is (probably?) safe to say winter is over. It’s the optimal time for taking a walk, or a bike ride, or a push if you are a wheelchair user. The snow is long gone from the paths. It’s warm enough but not unreasonably so. Even if you use an electric wheelchair, this is the time to get out and get some sunshine and oxygen, even if just to see a new view.
If you’re taking your walks in the evening, try to get out there right after work. I mean change out of your work clothes first, obviously. But go before you get settled in for the evening is all. And before you eat dinner, too. That nagging, increasingly peckish feeling along the way can be a great motivator to put some pep in your step. Of course, if you really should eat first for whatever reason, then please do. It can be a leisurely stroll. It doesn’t have to be a test of endurance.
Speaking of which, you don’t have to sweat. The point is to be out there, to be moving. Come to think of it, it doesn’t even have to be “out there” either. The sun and the fresh air are gravy, but maybe you catch some throughout your day anyway. So if you prefer to get your steps in, indoors, maybe there is a local gymnasium open to the public even if you aren’t a YMCA/YWCA member. Or, remember malls?
But let’s assume that you are going to be outside. Do this on a regular route, with a set distance to cover. No short cuts – unless the weather takes an unexpected turn of course – so you have a definite goal. At first, it can be a drag knowing how much farther you still have to go, but toward the end, it becomes more like “ONLY that much farther to go? Great!”
Go with a partner. For general safety’s sake, but also to hold each other accountable, and to encourage each other to complete the pre-determined distance. It’s like weightlifting with a spotter. Only your spotter is lifting too. So that’s an imperfect metaphor. It’s a mutual support system, though.
Music can be a good way to pass the time and get you pumped, but headphones or Earbuds or AirPods, etc., may become a dangerous distraction, especially if your trek takes you in and around heavy traffic. Personally, I like to let the earworms playing in my head run wild, but that’s just me.
And we’d be remiss if we did not mention the absolute necessity of reflective or bright colored clothing if you’re going to be out around sundown. While we’re here, let’s talk about insect repellent. Even if you are not in a heavily-wooded area, you could still bring some unexpected passengers home with you if they are not properly discouraged.
Make walks, rides, and rolls a regular thing before the season changes on us again. Or as regular as the weather will allow. Even when spring turns to summer, it is simply a matter of shifting your walks to mornings when it’s cooler – before work if you can, or later in the evenings, or just save it for a weekend morning if that’s the best option for you.
Either way, it’s about time to get moving!