We are, after all, creatures with a past. Having not recently arrived on this planet, we did not evolve under the influences of a modern society or a world dominated by technology. Our minds and bodies were shaped by natural forces to perform functions far different than those that presently occupy the vast majority of our time.
When we find disharmony, unhappiness and disquiet in modern living, we do not realize that it springs from our disassociation from the primal past. First and foremost, we were meant to walk. To run - perhaps, to jog - maybe, but to walk - most definitely. Before modern machines, before domestic animals, before the riches they brought - we walked. We walked everywhere while waiting for the wheel.
It was a long wait indeed and we marked it with footprints in the sands of time. Those footprints led across the continents and we came to recognize walking as something inherently human. There it was, imbedded in our psyche, fused in the marrow of our bones. We carried our few portable possessions and depended on each other more and property less. We strengthened our backs and limbs, burned calories, increased our circulation and cleared our minds of everyday cares.
Walking today is a pastime, both figuratively and literally. It is largely something done in retirement, a way to pass the time of day. Who among us has the time to waste when other means of transport are available? We live not near our workplace, autos and commuter rail come between. Even shopping and recreation are not close-by and time demands the wheel. But yet, there is something salient in revisiting primitive ways. And if we couple walking with vigorous exertion, there can be both physical and spiritual benefits.
The boardwalk at Jones Beach offers visitors an excellent location for vigorous walking year round.