I had an interesting discussion with a friend the other day, he was trying to sell me on the merits of going for walks as a form of stress relief.
I've just never really enjoyed going for walks, I usually feel like I am wasting time and end up annoyed. Like many women (and maybe some men?) I frequently feel that I have about 1000 thoughts running through my head all at once. I have a virtual agenda in my brain where I am constantly moving things backwards or forwards so that I can accomplish everything I need/want to.
Walking as exercise seems (and I'm sorry to you walkers) as pointless, when I exercise I really want to get the most value for my time- so I tend to enjoy workouts that are a little bit more challenging and difficult and where I am left feeling like I really made a difference in that one hour. Heavy weights, really intense cardio like the stair master etc. Also I realize that there is actual scientific evidence that shows walking is beneficial - but I'm strictly talking about myself here.
Walking as relaxation also seems strange to me - when I relax I like to do nothing - Ideally it would involve the beach, a book, a massage, mani/pedi's etc. Something that allows my brain to shut off for a little while.
So for me going for walks accomplishes neither of these, I just end up thinking about how I could be using that time for much more valuable tasks.
I don't mind walking the dogs because it feels purposeful and allows me to check something off my list.
So my friend gave me a challenge. To walk about 20 minutes everyday (without the pups) for a week and see if I feel any differently, while I was thinking about how feeble this task would be I came across an article by Michael Moore who is on his 200-something days of walking - he posted this article about how good he feels and how it has nothing to do with exercise or relaxation but the enjoyment of life. Love him or hate him it's an interesting read.
What do you think? Do you like walks as a way to unwind?