ABOVE ALL," wrote the Danish philosopher
Søren Kierkegaard, do not lose your desire to walk.
Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away
from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts....
Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher,
went so far as to say All truly great thoughts are conceived
A walk taken regularly for the sake of
ones well-being is called a constitutional. Kierkegaard
and Nietzsche were in good company. Gandhi, Darwin, Emerson,
and many creative (and long-lived) people throughout history
took constitutionals often. You can too. Heres how to have
a good one:
Walk at a pace thats easy and
pleasant. Dont make your
constitutionals do double duty as an exercise program. A constitutional
is closer to meditation, but its not a discipline.
Its more like a vacation, and thats exactly the attitude
Bring a little pocket-sized notebook
and a pen, but dont try to get ideas. Of course, youll sometimes think of things
you want to remember. Taking notes is a way to free your mind
once your idea is down on paper, youre free to forget
about it for the moment.
Walk for longer than fifteen minutes. A half hour to an hour is good. You need to do
it long enough to let your mind relax. This is a temporary vacation
from our compulsion to do, and it needs to be long enough
to have an effect.
ON A WALK, you get a fresh perspective;
you can find solutions to problems; you look at things more clearly.
You become calmer, saner and healthier. Its easier to think
because, 1) you have the time to think, 2) theres
nothing else you need to attend to, and 3) your brain is getting
This way of taking a walk is aptly named:
Its good for your constitution your overall
well-being, body and mind. You have a right to some quiet
time to yourself, so exercise your right. A haven of peace and
sanity awaits you...only a few steps away.
Clear your head and relax by
going for a long walk.