ARJUN PEREIRA describes the benefits of an early morning walk, which apart from health advantages opens up a subtle window of communication with nature and people

Instead of partying excessively on the 31st of December 2021, I decided to sleep early and was cosily tucked in my bed covers by 11:45 pm.

I had already made up my mind to start 2022 on a sunny, bright and disciplined note, rather than waking up with a hangover that induces nothing but laziness and more TV watching or watching Netflix, Amazon, reading messages on WhatsApp and YouTube watching!

I must say that even after getting hold of the most advanced smartphones and other hand-held devices, and despite the social media and technology at our disposal, nothing can beat those good old-fashioned morning walks and outdoor exercising in terms of pure fun. Nothing beats the smell of the damp morning grass, the natural breeze flowing through green trees, with the welcoming sunshine shining upon them. And of course, it brightens your face and skin with some natural Vitamin D. The sounds of cheerfully chirping and cooing birds signalling the dawn of a brand new day are like icing on the cake.

This always makes every single being happy, joyous, vibrant and oh so fresh. Driving early in the morning getting to your chosen park or maidan is also very refreshing, invigorating and alerting. Eating breakfast after a morning walk and some exercising feels much more rewarding and a more natural process rather than drinking strong coffee or tea or eating a heavy breakfast while still lying in bed after a late-night party. Somehow it does not feel right.

The author Arjun Pereira enjoying the subtle power of the great outdoors

After my walk that morning, I sat down on a sunny bench in the park and began observing people, birds and even animals like dogs and squirrels, I realized that fundamentally all life forms are quite similar. All are aiming to survive by eating food, indulging in procreation and pass their time deeply engaged in some activity or the other.

All life forms are basically communicating, whether the communication is with another being or with some aspect of the physical world. Even the squirrel running up a tree, to get at its favorite nut or a dog barking at a car or at another dog are both engaging in some communication, whatever the language or medium of communication may be.

Even non-verbal communication exists whether we realize it or not, even in these days of excessive smartphone-based communication. A friendly smile at a fellow walker, just making eye contact with someone of the opposite sex or the same sex, getting out of the way of a fellow runner, cyclist or jogger — are all forms of communication even if there is no verbal interchange between people.

One can communicate with trees, grass and plants as well by just touching and feeling them and being aware of their presence and purpose in the environment around you, whether it be in a big park, stadium or even at some picnic spot such as some well-kept gardens maintained by the city’s civic authorities.

And of course, walking in the morning comes packed with various benefits. This form of aerobic exercise gives a workout to most of your major muscle groups and significantly lowers your risk of heart disease, improves your circadian rhythm, and even lowers your risk of diabetes. Then, of course, it cuts through your obesity, decreases stress, reduces your muscle and joint pains to name just a few!

And the biggest benefit of them all – exercise releases endorphins, those feel-god hormones that pep you up and keep you cheerful and happy…. Just these are enough to convince you of the benefits of a morning walk. And the biggest plus point – you get to enjoy the fresh outdoor sunshine – all for free.

Arjun Pereira, a writer and editor, is also a singer, composer, lyricist and guitarist. He has worked for several leading publishing houses and corporates and loves to travel, soaking in new experiences and cultures.

Photo of couple walking by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

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