“An early walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
Henry David Thoreau, an American essayist
Walking is a basic human activity that has been embedded in our nature. Walking outside, we can get a breath of fresh air, take in nature’s beauty and even increase our aerobic /eəˈrəʊ.bɪk/ capacity. Do you like walking in the countryside, getting away into the trails, or do you prefer city parks?
- to embed sth. in sth. (often used figuratively) – to place/set sth. firmly in sth. else
- to take sth. in – to spend time looking at sth.
- capacity – the ability to do sth.
- trail – a path through a forest, field, etc.
Although for some people there is nothing better than a leisurely stroll, some think that walking is boring, unlike, say, running, which is full of zest. Why walk if it can’t really trim your waistline? Can walking really help you get away from it all? Some would say hardly…
- leisurely – done in a relaxed way, without hurrying
- stroll – a short leisurely walk
- zest – enthusiasm, eagerness, energy, and interest
- to trim- to make the size smaller
- to get away from it all – to go somewhere different from where you live in order to have a rest or a holiday
- hardly – certainly not
But benefits of walking cannot be overestimated. It lowers the risk of many life-threatening diseases, helps you combat anxiety, boost your mood, creativity and endurance. Many of us have a hard time getting to the gym, but a brisk walk can be a good workout. Well, it may not make you ripped, but it surely can get you close to nature and make you see the world in a new light. Pick the music that complements the walk and indulge yourself in its simple pleasures.
- to overestimate sth. – to think of sth. or sb. as being greater in ability, influence, or value than that person or thing actually is
- to combat /ˈkɒm.bæt/ sth. – to try to stop sth. from happening or getting worse
- endurance – the ability to do sth. difficult for a long time
- to have a hard time doing sth. – to have difficulty doing sth.
- brisk – done with quickness and energy
- ripped (American English) – having a strong and muscular body or shape with little fat
- to see sth./sb. in a new light – to understand sth. or sb. in a different way
- to complement /ˈkɒm.plɪ.ment/ sth. – to complete sth. else or make it better
- to indulge yourself in sth. – to allow yourself to have or do sth. as a special pleasure
Would you like to make your walk even more relaxing? Take a blanket and some food and have a picnic!
My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary by going on a picnic every June. We make our way to the coast, stopping to pick up some food and drinks on the way. We love being on our own together, off the beaten track, and we just sit and chat and watch the ocean. After we have eaten, we walk along the coast and only turn back when the sun goes down.
- to make one’s way to… – to go to a particular place, especially over some distance or taking some time
- to pick up food (informal) – to buy food
- off the beaten track – far away from other people, houses, etc.
- to turn back – to turn round and return the way you came
To celebrate Mum’s birthday , we went on a picnic in a country park near here. We got there before Mum and Dad, and took advantage of the picnic tables provided down by the river. My brother had invested in a special picnic basket, and organized all the food. He and I set it all up, but other family members pitched in, and even the kids helped to clear up at the end. Mum was delighted, and best of all, the mosquitoes stayed away.
- to take advantage of… – to use (sth., such as an opportunity) in a way that helps you
- to invest in… – to buy sth. that is expensive but that you will use a lot or enjoy having
- to set sth. up – to prepare equipment, furniture, etc. that will be needed for an activity
- to pitch in (informal) – to join other people and help with an activity
- to clear up – to make a place clean and tidy
- best of all – a phrase used for introducing a fact that pleases you more than all the others you have mentioned