Life is not a walk in the park, but some of life's problems can be resolved while we walk in the park.- Berisman
I only know about walking in the park when I was a student at Sheffield University way back in 1973. When I started my first term, it was already October and nobody walks in the park in cold weather. Then I experienced the first winter in my life at the age of 21 years old. In my country Malaysia, we have summer around the year with a wet monsoon season in November, December and January. In England, I have to watch the weather forecast every night and the English people begin their talk with the weather. In my country, it is about how are you and where are you going.
After undergoing the cold and boring winter months, I really look forward to seeing spring time. When I saw English people going to the park and spending their time there, I began to appreciate the value and joy of being in the park with friends and family members. So I joined the locals enjoying ourselves at the parks. At the public parks, I got to watch and listen to free live musical entertainment for free.
During my first summer vacation, I went out to seek temporary employment to earn a few quids a week for my holiday. During these semester holidays, I visited my Malaysian friends in London, Norwich, Brighton and Loughborough. I also took opportunities to visit their cities and parks. Over the course of three years living in England, I fell in love with the beautiful English gardens. They are just beautiful. My only regret was that I did not have any photos taken of the beautiful parks because I did not have a camera. I cannot afford it. My monthly living allowance was £71- just enough to have a roof over my head and food etc.
Ten years later when I started working in Kuala Lumpur, I still keep the habit of visiting city parks at least twice a month. I was blessed by a beautifully manicured garden located at Kuala Lumpur City Centre where Petronas Twin Towers stall tall and proud. It is only five minutes away from my house; so I went there every weekend to eat and do my shopping. On weekends, I walked there with family members and friends. Walking in the park has become my habit developed over the last two decades.
Twelve years ago, I moved out of the city of Kuala Lumpur to live in a suburb 33km away called Bandar Baru Bangi. Here, I am blessed with a city garden that has a 3km walking route and is located about one km from my house. Here I walk three times a week to keep fit and healthy as a senior citizen. Another good thing is that I am near Putrajaya-the new administrative centre of Malaysia has a few great and beautiful gardens for me to walk and cycle every weekend. It only takes me 15 minutes to drive there and have a great walk.
Have you heard about the concept of Healthy Park, Healthy People? There was a study done in Australia that showed a positive correlation between healthy people and regular visits to parks. The city has a monthly program to inspire, motivate and facilitate local residents to visit parks for their own good and healthy lifestyle. So I join them even though I am not a local resident of Putrajaya.
Walking is good for everyone no matter what is your age. I am 69 years and I have gained a lot of health benefits from my walking since I was 35 years old. No matter how busy you are, please allocate time for yourself to go and have a walk. Last year, I set up an online group called WE WALK MORE. Anyone any where can join the group. We walk wherever we live and share our walking records online on our Facebook Group. The group dynamics have inspired and motivated some of us to walk even 150km in a month. Personally, I am behind most of them-still below 60km a month but I will try to catch up.
All of us know the benefits of walking for our bodies and minds. The most difficult part is to get started and to make it a personal habit, This can be done by joining a walking group. Happy walking to everyone. By the way, how many kilometres did you walk last month?