As a child I loved to run. My favorite sport was cross country running, and back in the day our route was through lovely woodlands featuring fallen branches which made it both challenging and exciting. I played netball and hockey at school and at university, joined karate and track teams, and also swam competitively. In my twenties I discovered aerobic classes - box fit and step - and occasionally mellowed myself with a little pilates or yoga.
In short, I loved anything that would get the adrenalin pumping and the sweat pouring, continuing to pound my way through my thirties and forties with this mindset, adding skipping and road running to my list of favorites. One activity I have never really indulged in is walking - until now.
In the UK, as in many places in the World, we are cautiously coming out of lockdown. Everyone should continue to take great care to be socially distance. In that way, walking is ideal. While keeping energy levels high through, it'll not only boost mental health, but keep the body and mind positive. Some days I walk with the children, sometimes with my husband, and occasionally by myself.
When I run or skip, I always choose a pumping tune to get me motivated and keep me going. When I walk I sometimes listen to a podcast, sometimes to a play or book, and sometimes just to the silent countryside. My mind feels calmest when I walk and just listen. I can shut out the anxiety of the news and situation and just enjoy the moment.
We are incredibly fortunate to live in a relatively remote and rural town, and the lockdown has taken all the normal sounds from the environment such as planes droning overhead and cars whizzing by and replaced it with sheep baaing, birds tweeting, and a peace that I can’t ever remember in my lifetime. I’ve had time to reflect, indulge my thoughts, enjoy the countryside, and rediscover a new joy of walking and exploring.
There are many disadvantages and restrictions to this period in our life but many wonderful experiences to be gleaned as well, and I feel grateful for these small moments and for having discovered a new form of exercise that I will be able to continue long after lockdown ends.
By: Sara Pittman // Kenzai Assistant Trainer & Member