When in doubt, walk.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
― Henry David Thoreau
For the last month, I've been taking an early morning walk each day. Though I never considered myself a morning person, heading out just as the sun rises is the best way to avoid the dangerous summer heat. I've missed two days -- both times because a nagging little headache gave me an excuse to stay home. Here's what I discovered: the famous walkers of the creative world were right, and I need that exercise with its physical and spiritual energy to start the day.
I'm about as far as one can get from being a fitness expert, but I think walking is great exercise. Over the years, I have discovered that investing in good shoes becomes more essential the more you walk, and the older you get. I find a good walk loosens my muscles and suppresses little aches and pains. I come home feeling awake and ready to go. This burst of morning energy is so much that I often find I've plowed through a long to-do list before noon.
In my coaching work with local clients I used to love walking meetings. As the world moves back to normal, and when the sweltering summer ends, I hope to do this again. A walking meeting gets the ideas and the blood pumping and helps avoid over indulging in expensive, calorie laden coffee drinks to justify the use of a table.
A morning walk is also the best writing device I've ever used. And it got even better once I put a notepad app on my phone and stopped stuffing my pockets with scraps of paper and a pen. Moving though the world, walking alone and observing, gives me flashes of inspiration and moments of respite -- both necessary to keep writing.
My mother used to say, "Get up and do something constructive" if I complained of being bored or not feeling great. She was right (of course) and now I know that when in doubt, I should take a walk.