Zen and the art of an open line: Take a walk | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Zen and the art of an open line: Take a walk

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM


Here's your open line and daily video roundup. Also, today's sermon:

* WALKING IS GOOD FOR YOU: I followed a link from a Chelsea Clinton Twitter to a New Yorker article on the benefits of walking and I recommend it. Not only do you feel good after taking a walk, science says you think more clearly. Check this out:

What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

The way we move our bodies further changes the nature of our thoughts, and vice versa. 

There's more, but it's all good.

I'm an evangelist on the subject. In the winter of 1993, when many years of jogging and extra weight had begun to take a toll on my knees, I changed to walking. Since then, my wife and I try to start every day with a walk. We haven't missed many in the 21 years since. It hasn't made me skinny, but my blood pressure is good, I feel good and — when we travel — I can cover a lot of ground on what my mother used to call "shank's mare." Those trips have included a 60-mile village-to-village walk around the Cotswolds in England; treks in the Dolomites of Italy, and many a mile on the meticulously mapped and cared-for wanderwegs of Switzerland. (And the first 75 miles of the Ouachita Trail.) The feeling of well-being is immense; the cold beer at trail's end well-earned.

I feel good just thinking about walking. The New Yorker article says where you walk matters, too. A pastoral walk offers "unique advantages for the mind." The soul, too. I was reminded of a hike I took last summer around a mountaintop overlooking a Norwegian fjord. Apart from a solitary horsewoman, I was alone on a four-mile trail around sheep pastures, through forest and finally downhill alongside the rush of a cold, salmon-filled river tumbling over rocks. It was exhilarating. It even beat the Kavanaugh Promenade in Hillcrest.

Forgive my self-indulgence. Take a walk. Fancy gear isn't necessary, nor club memberships. Open your front door and start walking.

click to enlarge GOOD FOR THE MIND: A pastoral walk, such as this one I took in Norway.
  • GOOD FOR THE MIND: A pastoral walk, such as this one I took in Norway.


* MAYBE THIS COUPLE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A WALK: The report here is of the arrest of an Alexander man for attempted murder for shooting his wife multiple times at the Buffalo Point Campground on the Buffalo River. She's in critical condition. He's in jail.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (27)

Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Clintons

    I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders: No thanks for your Thanksgiving shtick

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump's press secretary, is getting tabbed a hectoring bully (just like her boss) after her Thanksgiving week shtick. In a performance often dripping with disdain, she demanded that reporters give thanks for something before being allowed to ask her a question.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • Trolling for questions for our weekly podcast

    Lindsey Millar and I will record the Arkansas Times' weekly podcast this afternoon and post it shortly after it's done. This week, we're soliciting questions from readers/listeners.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation