So, as someone who has been massively out of shape and then very much in shape, I kind of know the whole endorphin thing.

That brain pleasure center stuff really does work, and then walking and running and all that other stuff can actually feel very good. But the thing is, it takes a lot of powering through unpleasantness to get there.

And that’s what makes it so difficult and frustrating. Because sometimes powering through really just isn’t an option. If it hurts too much to power through, then you’re never going to get to that place where going out for a long brisk walk or a nice pleasant jog is OK.

The only thing I can suggest and it’s worked for me in the past, is to start very very slow without any serious goals. A 10-minute walk in the pleasant cool of the evening. Not to lose weight, not to become an athlete, just to enjoy the setting sun and the birds.

Just 10 minutes.

If you can make those 10 minutes pleasant and keep it up regularly, then before too much time passes, you can shoot for 15 minutes. And no, those 15 minutes are not going to cause you to lose weight. But they are going to cause you to be able to walk for 15 minutes, which means that after a while you’ll be able to walk for 20 minutes.

And eventually, and I’m talking about over a period of months and maybe even more than a year, you’ll be able to start walking faster and more vigorously and get to a point where maybe some of those brain chemicals are going to start to kick in.

But at least you’re enjoying the cool air of the evening, and the birds, and whatever else there is to look at while you’re doing it.

And getting out like that has other benefits, even if you’re not losing weight right away. Just taking walks gets you into different places, seeing different things and breathing a little more deeply — experiencing a little more deeply.

That has to be good for your writing.

Ten minute slow walks. Think about it.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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