Walking for chronic pain: things I notice on my walks

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I appreciate that a lot of my recent posts are about walking for chronic pain, and not everyone has this as part of their pain management toolbox. I’m purposely trying to write about different aspects of walking, so even if you don’t do this, then this post may still be relatable to you in that it may help you in other ways. This post is all about the things I notice on my walks; being present and more mindful, focusing on what I’m doing, keeping distracted from my pain, and being grateful for and appreciating the little things. All these things can be a part of your pain management and this post may help you understand more.

That connection with others doing their morning walk

It’s easy to spot the early morning walker: by the clothes they wear or the speed that they walk. They’re usually wearing something similar to me (walking trainers, a lightweight jacket, a hat, and headphones) and they’re usually moving at a decent pace – also like me.

Many other walkers also say hello, which is nice. And it’s surprising how many there are too. I’m usually out the door by 7am (although this won’t be happening for too much longer due to the colder and darker mornings creeping in) and every day I see others keen to start their day with some morning exercise.

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So many people are glued to their phones

People at bus stops, walking to bus stops, on their way to school, on their way to work. The majority of people I see are with their heads down and are scrolling through their screens.

Now I generally can’t do two things at once at the best of times, let alone when I’m on my morning walk. I like to look where I’m going, and watch out for other pedestrians or walkers. I also keep an eye on the pavement for dog poop!

People older than me tend to say hello

Of those that aren’t glued to their phones, there are some people who do say hello to me. This tends to be people who look older than me (I’m rubbish at guessing ages, so I could be wrong).

I’m an introvert but I do love to say hello to the people I pass. I’ve always thought that saying hello and giving someone a smile could really brighten their day, especially if they live alone and that simple interaction of saying “hello” could mean the world to them.

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The kids that do paper rounds should be given more credit

For a start, they’re up early and making an effort to earn a bit of money. I’ve no idea what they earn, but I bet it’s not much at all. But also:

  • They do their job before school so they have a long day ahead of them.
  • They’re out in all weathers and they don’t have the waterproof gear like I’m lucky to have.
  • Their paper round list gets sopping wet in the rain.

I often see a girl delivering the papers when I’m out on my walk. I’m guessing she is fairly new as one day, when it was raining, she had a piece of paper that was absolutely soaked through – I’m assuming she was using it tell her where to take the papers. I really hope she was able to read it and get the job done. I just felt really sorry for her, and realised that these kids aren’t really properly equipped to do their job.

So many blog ideas pop in to my head

I’m much more productive in a morning. My creative brain seems to be on overdrive. And on my walks, I gets many ideas popping in to my head. I don’t like to get my phone out and write these things down, as it will interrupt my rhythm of my walk, and like I said at once I can’t do two things at once. Most days I tend to remember the gist of the ideas I get, and I capture them when I get back home.

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The massive puddles to avoid so I don’t get drenched by cars

It’a amazing how quickly a puddle appears after a downpour. On the several routes that I do – I like to mix it up a bit – I come across some pretty huge puddles. The last thing I want is for a vehicle to drive through it and water to splash all over me. So I have to be alert and time it well when I walk pass it. I recently read that you can be fined for splashing pedestrians.

My mind easily wanders and I miss sections of my podcast

It’s no wonder this happens when I’m too busy thinking of stuff like all the above. I find myself having to rewind my podcast to go over bits that I’ve missed. I don’t do this all the time, but if’s a particularly interesting podcast, I like to go back and re-listen to the bits I’ve missed. Just stopping at a junction to focus on crossing the road can mean I miss bits. I do try and pause it when I can too to make sure I concentrate on getting safely across the road.

Your thoughts

What do you notice on your walk?

Will you start to try and notice more things after reading this post?

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One thought on “Walking for chronic pain: things I notice on my walks

  1. Despite Pain says:

    Isn’t it lovely when you meet someone and they smile and say hello. I’m like you, I always think a smile and a hello might make someone’s day, so I always do that when I pass people. I don’t do it for the people with their heads in their phones. They wouldn’t notice. If I tried to do that, I’d walk into a lamp post!

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