Walking to Music

It was an unbelievable 54 degrees today with nary a cloud in the sky, so I decided to go for a walk.

It was a respectable walk, something in the vicinity of 2.2 miles with moderately challenging terrain. I decided to bring my iPhone so I could listen to the new Gotye album, which is amazing. I’ll probably be writing about it shortly, so you might as well buy it now.

Meanwhile, on the last leg of my walk, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really thought about anything but the music. It brought to mind the debate between exercising with music or without. Suppose you’re going for a run, for example. I can see how the right music could pump you up and potentially lead to a stronger, more intense workout. But on the other hand, your mind could remain focused on the song, as I experienced today, and fail to drift aimlessly from thought to thought.

Activities like walking or running are great opportunities to let our minds relax and wander freely. You can let your worries go for a little while and surrender to the endorphins. It’s a good chance to decompress, think, or not think at all. Who knows where that mental wandering might lead? If I hadn’t been focused on the awesomeness of Gotye, maybe my mind would have come across a great idea for an article, or some other epiphany.

I can’t say which is better. That half-hour walk might have been boring without my headphones, or I might have come up with a new idea, or maybe I’d just have enjoyed the day a little bit more.

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