Walk This Way
October 10, 2014
Gosh it got very chilly very quickly in the part of the country that is home to Hudson HQ. Within the space of a few hours I went from pottering in the garden in a t-shirt to huddling into my fleece top with the radiators on full heat. It also seems that the evenings are much shorter. Lovely Husband has, up until now, managed to have an hour or so “good daylight” when he gets home which he used to tinker on his “new” car… but even he has noticed that the light fades within about thirty minutes of him getting home.
These differences are most noticeable as LH and I set out on our evening walk. LH and I have always enjoyed strolling – particularly with our beloved hound Hudson. It was always a great way of drawing a line under the working day. We would get home to a very excited Welsh Border Collie and head out for his evening walk but he sadly passed away and we got out of the habit of walking.
When we embarked on our joint WLR-journey we realised that walking was a great way of “moving more” (a very important component when it comes to successful weight loss). We resolved to take a daily constitutional and have stuck to it. We generally set a brisk pace and head out for half-an-hour. When we started we would find ourselves strolling in the warm evening sunshine with blue skies but more recently we have been walking in darkness with extra layers on. That said, it is still really enjoyable. The “night-time” walk feels a little different because it does feel like it is much later in the day but it is interesting to see how different things look as the seasons change.
We spent the warm summer and early autumn taking “rural walks” spending our time looking at the birds and the wildlife but now, because it is too dark to see (and because the dragonflies seem to have given up on being out-and-about when daylight ends) we stick to the well-lit roads and streets where we live. We were slightly appalled when we released just how little we knew about the immediate area we live in. Whilst we pride ourselves on not taking the car unless absolutely necessary, we now know that we have our “tried and trusted” quick routes into the town centre; to the railways station; to the supermarket. We very rarely took detours from these routes, but now, every evening, we make a real effort to take a different route each time… and we find ourselves looking through the windows where the lights are on but the curtains are not drawn; or noticing the architecture of the floodlit local church. We have discovered two converted primary schools and an old bakery; the office block that was formerly a Victorian fire station and a newly-developed wildflower garden.
As we wander through town now, we notice that no-one is “dining al fresco” and all the outside tables and chairs have disappeared from the various restaurants that we pass on our “constitutional”. This is a good thing. It was always difficult to walk past the outdoor diners and get the scent of their food or look at the delicious looking meals on their plates and not feel hungry. It was part of the reason why we would deliberately leave purse and wallet back at Hudson HQ… so we are not tempted to stop our stroll and indulge in a three-course meal. Likewise, as our various routes all have a good number of shops en route, it means we don’t pick up extra chocolate or an additional packet of crisps. Much as we both like to think that we have changed our habits… the lure of a caramel and chocolate sweet treat can sometimes be too hard to resist… so not having cold hard cash means that however much we might be tempted we can’t “impulse buy”.
I have to confess that I was a bit concerned that without the warm weather and the summer evening sunshine I might lack the motivation to haul myself out of a comfy armchair and “move more” but the reality is as long as I am not too cold or too wet then the walk is still really enjoyable. The added bonus is the drop in the temperature means that we are walking a lot more briskly which increases the level of our exercise and, besides being of real benefit on our weight loss quest, we find it is the perfect time to swap stories of our day at work and make plans for our free time and weekends.
If you do find yourself with half an hour to spare why not head out for a stroll? If you have someone to walk with it is a great way of catching up but if you are a “solo stroller” is a wonderful opportunity to gather your thoughts, take in the world around you and I always find when I am walking alone (as LH can’t always join me) it is provides a peaceful part of a usually busy day. I highly recommend it.
Have a wonderful weekend (with a walk or two as well).