2009-07-30 / Letters

Reader Suggests "Get Out And Walk"

Young walkers trek the alleyways in McConnellsburg. -  PHOTO BY WILLIAM W. SMITH Young walkers trek the alleyways in McConnellsburg. - PHOTO BY WILLIAM W. SMITH McConnellsburg is representative of a lot of towns both large and small across America today with respect to what there is to do for entertainment.

So it is that we hear such phrases as, "there is nothing to do around here." There is, in fact, something to do around here that is free fun as well as healthy. It is simply walking.

Walking is a way to get and stay healthy, reduce stress, occupy idle time, make friends and discover new things. Walking can be done by oneself or with someone else. Walking with others is a great opportunity for discussion and togetherness, much like the quality time we often hear existed around the supper tables of the past.

It can be the basis for discovery, exploration and a new way of seeing the familiar around us. Across the planet, people walk for all of these reasons and as a result are much healthier and happier for it.

While living in Europe, I was exposed to a culture where people in the evening and on the weekends would walk upon paths that wound through vineyard, field and forests. I participated in a club expressly meant to promote walking as a group sport.

This allowed me to see sights and places that I would never have seen otherwise. Mc- Connellsburg and the surrounding county have a beauty that can be experienced in a new way by getting out and walking the streets, roads and trails of the county.

There are already many people in the area who know this and they can be seen out walking about the town and surrounding county. Special equipment is not generally necessary, comfortable, well fitting shoes being the main exception.

Some manner of carrying water is advisable as well, also be smart about the sun and wear protection, as you will more than likely be exposed to it for extended periods. It is also advisable for some people with known or potential health issues to check with their doctor before starting any recreational walking.

Also, be sure to follow all safety rules for pedestrians while walking along road sides.

Both long and short walks can and do provide these benefits, so now you know too.

William W. Smith

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