I don’t know if you have ever heard of the phrase “inattentional blindness” but it helped saved my walking regimen. After walking/jogging for over a year, boredom set in and I just wasn’t that into it anymore. When I first started walking I kept to the streets and roads in the neighborhood. But after about six months of vehicles and barking dogs that got old. Then I started hoofing it in various parks which often felt isolating and spooky. I had toyed with the idea of listening to music but paranoia kept me from doing so. What if I was attacked from behind? I wouldn’t hear it coming. Then I leaned on faith and “inattentional blindness” became my saving grace.
RADIO vs BOREDOM
Attempting to address my boredom I bought a little portable radio with the ear buds either you put in your pocket or clip on. I just clip mine onto the collar of my shirt or blouse. I had held off buying this simple electronic device that cost less than $10.00, convinced it might infringe on my safety especially since I often walked alone. But as I cut back on my days, I realized I wasn’t going to have that problem because the way I was going pretty soon I wasn’t going to be walking at all. So I bought the radio and it is the absolute best thing so far that I could have done to liven up my walking regimen.
(BEWARE) INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS vs LOCATION
Listening to the radio actually distracts me from the little aches and pains that once slowed me down. This distraction, coined “inattentional blindess”, basically means your attention is divided and you can’t focus on just one thing. Remember the YouTube video where a woman walked into the mall fountain while texting. With that in mind I wouldn’t advise plugging in while walking/jogging on a busy road or near train tracks, or anyplace you need to see as well as hear. But listening to the radio chatter as I traverse the graveled trails distracts from bodily discomfort and makes movement a breeze rather than a chore. Now days I walk/jog farther and longer.
While I would never advocate “inattentional blindness” while driving I wholeheartedly believe that it could prove beneficial for anyone walking in parks, especially along the trails, which should be free of vehicles. Sometime you may have to watch out for the occasional biker, but my recommendation is to be vigilant with your eyes. Keep a cell phone on you and pepper spray if you feel the need. So if you don’t already and like me feel yourself getting bored while walking/jogging, plugging into something distracting may keep you moving.
Note: For diabetics, especially Type II diabetics, and overweight individuals, or someone who can’t perform high impact exercise, walking is low-impact aerobics with proven health benefits.