It’s the Quality of the Steps that Matters

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

I had a cold over the weekend so I spent much of my time flat on my back on the couch, and much of that time I was sound asleep. I don’t get sick very often, so the experience of lying around, drinking water and hot tea and sniffling under a blanket was, frankly, pretty relaxing. But it was beautiful around here: soft autumn light, bright colors, blue sky, and I felt too crummy to go out and enjoy it.

So yesterday, with the kids off from school for the holiday and the weather still beautiful, we all went for a walk. Not my usual brisk pace to make sure my heart and waistline were getting the full benefit, but just a nice, leisurely stroll to stretch the legs and get back in the swing of things.

Can I tell you something? It was amazing. The weather. The sun. The leaves, the kids, the conversation, the laughter. Oh, and the walking. That was great too. I usually love my daily walk, but sometimes it can seem like one more thing I have to do, something to cram in to a busy schedule. But this walk, when I didn’t care how quickly I was moving, or how many steps I got in, or when I got back—what’s the rush when everybody I wanted to see was already with me?—was unlike any walk I had been on this year.

Did it have the same benefit as my power walks? Maybe not. But the emotional and psychological benefits of just being outside and connecting with the beauty of a fall day and hearing what my kids had to say about almost everything we came across did my heart more good than any amount of “exercise” ever could.

Next time you go for a walk, remember, sometimes the quality of the steps you take is just as important as the quantity.