A month a half ago, I had an epiphany about my weight. Don’t worry, I won’t go into detail here, but suffice to say that it made me sit upright and think about how I was handling my health.

A visit  to the doctor in May, 2016 had set off some alarm bells in my head and the need to take better care of myself surged to the front.Two days after my daughter’s tenth birthday in July, I began walking. Roping in a friend for company, I began with 15 minute walks and slowly worked myself up to half an hour or 40-minute stretches.

In the last month and a half, these are the five things I’ve learnt about myself, thanks to the simple act of walking everyday.

No need for fancy gear

A good pair of shoes and the willpower to walk; those are pretty much the only two things I need everyday, in addition to my phone, which I use to listen to music and click a few photographs on the way.

Making time for things that matter

The last year, 2015, was a particularly up and down period where I managed to get drawn into the negative effects of social media. I’d deactivate ever so often to stay away from the nastiness online. I’d worry myself sick over the people who’d unfriended or blocked me. I’d spend hours clicking on their blogs/profiles looking for ways to get back in their good graces. (Don’t judge me. I’m human.)

Today, I don’t get time for the negativity. I monitor my time online and give priority to health and sleep over everything else. I’ve let go of so many expectations of others. It’s been a boon!

Taking in the sights

Working from home can become challenging when you’re limited to seeing your own face in the mirror or the same four walls day after day. Walking outdoors helps put me in touch with Nature every single day. Each day sees a new addition to my photo gallery and the variety of colour and beauty is mesmerising! I’m so glad I have the time to stop and take in these sights now.

Sharing my progress motivates me (and others)

I’m generally very wary about sharing updates on Facebook these days, mostly because I’ve been told that I share too much (guilty as charged). But, I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. I now regularly update my walking stats on Twitter and Instagram with the hash tag #100DaysOfWalking, a project begun by a friend.

A few people must be rolling their eyes but the few who follow my page tell me that it’s made them think about their own health and it’s motivating them to get back on the track to good health. That’s more than enough for me, to be honest.

Walking helps me write

In March 2015,  I began work on my memoir. I’ve been procrastinating, browsing social media, reading up on articles like ‘How to finish that book in 31 days or less’ but never done anything else.

A year and a half later, I am finally at 45, 000 words with my first draft, waking up every morning at 5 am to write and enjoying the process thoroughly. Walking has helped put the spring back into my writer’s soul.

If walking isn’t your cup of tea, find an exercise that will motivate you. Go to the gym, learn to swim, pick up a badminton racquet, jog, cycle, run, play tennis- the possibilities are endless.

At the end of the day, if you can go to bed with a song in your heart, a healthy heart and a peaceful mind, that’s what really matters.

38 thoughts on “How Walking Changed My Life

  1. I’m keeping date with my workout at home nowadays but walking is something that helped clear my mind. Thoughts took shape while I walked. Have it start it again, soon.
    Keep up the good work, Shailaja. This kind of me-time is most important for our health.

  2. 🙂 I soooooooooooooo need to start doing something soon.. I am growing bigger abd bigger …

    Walking surly is a good exercise..

    I am surly am motivated 🙂 lets hope i get up my backside and do something about it …

  3. Inspiring post, Shailaja! Congratulations on your success, all around. I walk the dogs, but it’s not proper exercise, as they stop and sniff a lot. 🙂 Making time to exercise is something I’ve been lax about and know I must do better. Thanks for the motivation!

  4. So wonderful that you are following your heart, Shailaja and also taking care of your health. I have been neglecting my health and I need to sit up and do something, But at the end of every day, after doing everything, I just don’t have the stamina to take care of myself health wise. What should I do! Sigh!

    1. You work really hard, Naba. I am amazed at how much you do, especially with M as well. Don’t stress. Go for a short walk everyday. If nothing else, it will help clear your head and fill your lungs with fresh air. Big hugs 🙂

  5. Very inspiring, Shailaja. Agree on all points here. There’s so much positive energy that comes with even a mild form of exercise. Happy to hear about the progress with your memoir. Good luck!

  6. Go go go! I have been watching your progress and I agree that nothing is more important than health. You know I cycle to yoga in the morning and the days I can’t, I walk. My average has been 20 days a month – not so good but better as how I was. 🙂 Aiming to pull that up in September.
    When walking, music is my companion too and yes, clicking pictures is something you know I enjoy 🙂

    1. 20 days a month is fantastic! I usually take Sundays off, both from writing and walking. I think that’s important so you don’t burn out. I know your fondness for pictures very well. So proud of everything you do, as a person and a blogger. You’re just a really warm and lovely person 🙂

  7. Amazing post Shailaja!!!! I loved the way you write. I started exercising and jogging sometime back but could not continue it. I really loved reading this post. I find myself satisfied to use my time to read something worth it!!!!!

  8. Loved to read about how walking has changed your perspective and life. Isn’t it awesome how one action can benefit us so much. Great Post Shailaja. I love seeing your updates on instagram.

    1. You love seeing my updates everywhere! Don’t lie 😉 I’ve been watching you! But yes, so gratifying to watch over one’s health and no better inspiration than you 🙂

  9. Just what I needed to read today.

    Since so long I have been mulling over the urge to take a break from this social media addiction and focus on health and most importantly sleep.

    I starting walking as it was therapeutic. Clicking trees canopies , clouds and nature in its tiny forms.

    But then it went kaput in a month. Thanks for the boost:) this post is a motivation to start again!

    1. Start with good sleep. I did that and then moved to a simple walking regimen. Please start. The more people walking the lesser people online. That’s a BIG bonus 🙂 Big hugs 🙂

  10. Thats true, any form of physical activity, sure does helps you focus. There was a time I used to walk regularly in the mornings as well as evenings… I guess no more excuses, let me get those shoes out and get into a regime. Your post serves as the inspiration!!1

  11. A really nice and long walk has inspired many blog posts and chapters in the novel ! I’m not a fan of clicking pics on the way, because a. I’m bad at it b. I’m busy thinking and thinking and thinking too much on a walk 😀

    Do stick to your fitness goals and social media regimen. Take care of yourself first, and the rest will follow. Awaiting the memoir :*

    1. Ha ha ! Agree. I get my best ideas when I walk and when in the shower. BOTH places where I can’t write it down 😀 I allow the mind to wander but I love to pause and drinking in the beauty of Nature. That’s helped me stay on track with the walking. Yes yes, the memoir will be done soon. Very soon!

  12. Loved each point you’ve made here. So true that taking up walking or some form of exercise infuses positivity and also hardly leaves time for worrying about negativity. Keep going strong <3!

  13. Agree all the way. The toughest bit is to push yourself to get out of the house. And that’s that. I like to have my iPod because the beat of the music pushes me to keep my pace up. The city I live in is blessed with a fabulous weather almost throughout the year and that’s an added bonus.

    1. That toughest bit is what I beat with waking up to write 🙂 Once the high of writing makes me happy, getting to the walk is easier 🙂 I love the fact that music is a universal bond 🙂

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