Deep in the armpit of a day spent at my computer screen, I tug my sneakers on. Lace them up. Grab earbuds and my phone with a downloaded audiobook. Head for the door. Step outside. The sun hits me full in the face, and for the next 30 minutes or so, as I take a walk around my town, I shrug off the afternoon doldrums and feel pretty darn happy.
That walking has a preternatural, beta-blocker-like ability to produce contentment, creativity, and calm has been well documented. A loyal walker myself, I’ve seen it all up close. Caught in the Interweb’s rabbit hole? I walk. Too stressed to think straight? I walk. Trying to solve a thorny writing problem? I walk (and sometimes dictate stories into my phone’s Voice Memo app).