Hulne: A lifetime of walking proves therapeutic

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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In case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a Minnesota heat wave.

Instead of feet of snow to shovel, there are clear sidewalks and brown grass covering the landscape. With such early warm weather, there is no better time to get out and take a walk.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve taken regular walks.

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It all started with my grandparents as one of the many highlights of visiting them was a stroll around the lake by their cabin on Deer Lake or an evening walk across the North Dakota flat land that held their farm.

The walks were a perfect bridge for the generational gap as everybody seems more willing to engage in deeper conversations while walking. As I grew older, my brother and I would go for night walks around our home in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, and now I often walk with my children through our neighborhood or on the bike path that runs along the river through Austin.

As both of my kids are now teenagers, I have to relish the time I still have them nearby and walks are a great way to stay in touch with each other. I find that they are much more willing to open up about their struggles and thoughts while trekking under a setting sun or starlit sky.

If you have nobody to walk with you, solo walks are a great way to unleash the mind and embrace fresh air. Quite often, I’ve come up with creative writing ideas while out on a walk and I always come back feeling refreshed.

I guess when you think about it, it’s natural that walks are so therapeutic. It was the primary form of transportation for our ancestors and it’s an exercise that’s easy enough for anyone to perform and satisfying enough to break your stress.

If you’re a reluctant walker or a couch potato, I highly recommend you get out and move as this weather is warm. You just may have found a new lifetime activity.