There is more to walking than the physical activity of putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is also a chance to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the world around us, all of which can add to the enjoyment of your walk.
One of the easiest ways to enhance your walking experience is to really look at the landscape around you. Whether you are walking in an urban streetscape or on a country path, there are a plethora of things to feast your eyes on.
If you live in a city look at the architecture of the buildings, the cars that drive by, the people you see and even the street signs. I’ve come across some rather interesting street names on my walks.
If you visit your local park there are beautiful gardens to admire, a variety of trees and flowers to see, as well as interesting statues and water features. Even tree trunks with no leaves or tree stumps can be interesting to look at if you open your mind.
Keep an eye out for animals on your walks too. From your suburban cats and dogs to birds, cows, horses and even frogs and rabbits. I’ve seen them all and more on my walks. I still get excited when a spot an animal that I’ve not seen before.
The time of day, and the changing of seasons, can also give you some wonderful sights while you’re out walking. If you take a walk at sunrise or sunset, you’ll get to see some beautiful horizons. As the seasons change look out for the changing colour of the foliage and the different flowers that come out during each season. And the weather itself provides some awesome sights including interesting cloud formations, puddles and their reflections and frost or snow on the ground.
While I often walk with headphones listening to music or a podcast, sometimes I just like to listen to the sounds of nature while I’m walking. There’s something relaxing about the sound of the wind in the trees or the bird song at sunrise. Running water is thought to be one of the most soothing sounds in the world so if you’re walking near water, switch off your music or podcast and enjoy the sounds of the water flowing.
Smells can also enhance your walking experience. There’s nothing like the smell of rain on a hot summer’s day, the hint of spring flowers as you walk by and even the delicious smells of food being cooked. In fact, I’ve found inspiration for dinners based on some of the smells coming from my neighbour’s kitchens!
As you can see there is so much more to experience on your walks if you open your eyes, ears, and nose to what’s around you. On your next walk really focus on your surroundings and appreciate what an amazing world we live in.