Free and available to everyone.
It also cured my back pain and I lost 10 pounds! Listen to me, this is not satire and I’m not trying to sell you anything! It’s an actual method, and it’s not even a new one.
Completely free, 100% available to everyone, and easily achievable with no special equipment.
I’m mentioning all that because lately, I’ve been very picky about the activities I want to partake in.
I’m at a time in my life when everything is either too old for me or too young for me. And if it’s just right then it will make me gain weight or it will hurt. Yes, you guessed it, I’m in my 40s and I’ve gained the right to be as picky as I want.
Let me give you an example: parties are not right for me because they’re boring.
In case you’re wondering what kind of a person finds parties boring at any age, here’s what kind: an introvert.
To us, making small talk with a bunch of strangers seems like the kind of thing you’d have to pay me to do. And since everybody expects me to do it for free, I find that to be a great injustice against me and I’ll gladly keep away, thank you very much.
Other things that people do, but are wrong for me: eating whatever I want (weight issues), exercising (I really don’t like that kind of thing), mountain climbing (come on, that will put me in a coma), drinking (come on, that will put me in a coma), etc.
The problem is that since I’m a writer who spends most of her days on an office chair or in bed (yes, the first 3 hours of my morning are spent in bed, writing), my spine hates me for it and punishes me in creative ways that involve the nerves in my lower back.
You know the ones.
The rest of me has also decided to punish me for only using my brain and not paying any attention to my body, and it decided to put on a few pounds, just to show me who’s boss.
Oh, well, I thought, that’s life for you! I’ll just be fat and in pain from now on.
All until one beautiful summer day when I finally figured out that it doesn’t have to be this way.
It was a beautiful August morning and I wanted to go buy a lottery ticket. Yes, I’m one of those people who play the lottery once a week hoping she’ll one day win the jackpot and move to Los Angeles so I can write from the beach.
It’s my dream, please don’t ruin it for me with your objective reality, ok? Thank you for your understanding.
So there I was, ready to go get the ticket when my car just wouldn’t start. I had two options: walk to the lottery store, about 45 minutes away from where I live, or abandon my jackpot dream.
And if there’s one thing I never do is abandon my dreams!
So I started walking. And walking… And walking… And on my way I discovered a whole new world of possibilities that was hidden just below the surface of my everyday reality, waiting for me to discover it and start injecting unexpected happiness into my life.
What exactly was happening?
First of all, the weather was gorgeous. Not too hot, not too cold, and I live in a beautiful green area of the city, with old architecture and luscious greenery.
But! Although it was a pleasure walking along those streets and taking in the beauty of everything around, it just wasn’t… enough.
As most of us whose minds are warped by this brave new world and its daily dopamine hits, a walk in the park is… well, no walk in the park. It’s boring. Nature is not stimulating enough, compared to TikTok reels and the overwhelming nature of, say, a true crime documentary.
So I had to find a way to enhance my reality if I wanted to make it pleasant.
Five minutes into my walk, I figured out a way around it. I had to go back home and grab a pair of headphones.
I connected them to my phone and suddenly, I found a whole new world. A world of sound, color, laughter, and dancing.
Yes, I felt so good that I was dancing in the street. And laughing on my own.
As luck would have it, I live in an area where people don’t just walk around that much, because they have nowhere to go, there are only houses around, so I didn’t have many spectators to my one-woman show.
And the ones that happened to be around… well, I hoped they enjoyed it.
I could go as wild as I saw fit. And I loved every minute of it. It was intense, pleasant, and beautiful from every point of view.
The feeling of the glorious sun on my skin, the perfect music in my ear, the spring in my step, and the laughter in my soul made the experience article-worthy. Oh, and did I mention the singing? Yeah, there was also singing. And jumping around. There, now you know.
When I got back home I was so intoxicated with my newfound exhilarating experience that I knew it wouldn’t be the last time. I’ve been doing it almost every day since.
Starting with the 4th or 5th day, I noticed something peculiar. In a very good way. My back pain was completely gone. I could write from bed as much as I wanted, with my spine curved into a sickening-looking C. It didn’t matter anymore. My spine was happy as long as I gave it the walks.
And if you think the gains end there, here’s the most superficial one of all, which I appreciated just as much as the other ones: I got rid of 10 pounds! I wouldn’t say I lost them, because I am in no way trying to find them again.
It wasn’t just the walking though. Not directly, anyway.
It was just that walking made me so happy I didn’t feel the need to eat that much and that often.
After 3 months of this, I finally figured out a formula that hits the spot: the happy spot, spine spot, and weight shed spot.
Here’s what it is:
Quantity: between 1 and 2 hours of walking a day is just the right amount.
I suppose these people with the 10,000 steps rule knew what they were talking about since 10,000 steps are approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Frequency: between 5 and 7 times a week.
Gear: comfy shoes and headphones.
Entertainment: That’s the music part, which is just as important as the walking.
Obviously, choosing music that you personally like is a no-brainer, but it’s not enough to like it, it needs to make you happy.
What worked for me was ’80s dance music’. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it makes me feel alive. By now I already know by heart the steps to this little Footloose line dance and my street has seen me perform it several times.
I’m loving every minute of it and I’m only sorry I didn’t start it sooner.
My only problem is that winter is coming and I’ll have to find a way to do this in the cold.
I already have a plan though. Balaclava and ski outfit, glasses included.
You thought that if I didn’t have a problem dancing in the street I’d have a problem wearing a full ski outfit? Nah! People are bored anyway, they need a little entertainment! And why wouldn’t I do that for them?