Walk your way to financial (and physical) health

Walking is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, Hamm writes. Best of all: It's free.

Jim Young/Reuters/File
A couple takes a closer look at cherry blossoms during their walk around the Tidal Basin in Washington, in this March 2010 file photo. Going for a walk is a cheap and easy way to get some exercise and save money, Hamm writes.

All through dating and marriage, Sarah and I have taken pretty regular walks together. We’ll just stroll through the neighborhood we’re living in, looking for interesting things to observe and just talking about life.

Even now, we still do this, though our walks often involve three children tagging along with us.

These walks are a pretty key component of the success of our marriage. They’re simply valuable in many different respects.

For starters, they’re free. It doesn’t cost you a dime to open up your front door and go for a stroll.

For another, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and low-impact exercise. You’re outside moving around, which is a great thing, particularly for the many Americans with desk jobs.

The big reason, though, is that it gives you a great opportunity to have an uninterrupted conversation.

Sarah and I solve our problems during walks together. We talk about the things that concern us and together we work through solutions to the problems.

Sarah and I talk about the things going on in our separate lives. We talk about professional concerns, about things we’ve learned during the day, and about our friendships and connections with relatives.

We plan for the future on our walks. We discuss what our lives will be like in ten years and what we need to do to get there.

Yes, with young children around, we don’t get to walk as often as we’d like. Instead, we’ll have some of these conversations while walking with our children, or we’ll have them after the kids are asleep and we’re sitting together on the deck.

Walking together is free, it provides fresh air and gentle exercise, it gets you out in the community or in nature, and it gives you a powerful opportunity to communicate with your partner. It’s something I’m always happy to do.

This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. 

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

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