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Walking to Work Through the Parks

by Robert D Dangoor(more info)

listed in exercise and fitness, originally published in issue 163 - October 2009

Since my nurse advised me to do more daily exercise, I have been walking to work from Kensington Gardens through Hyde Park, to Park Lane. I also return home through the parks; it's an opportunity one should not resist.

There is a lot of history behind these parks. In 1536 Henry VIII acquired what is now known as Hyde Park for hunting. In 1872 Speakers Corner was designated for public oratory. Famous speakers have included Lenin, Karl Marx, George Orwell and, more recently, Lord Soper, the Methodist preacher. Not only is the park beneficial to one's limbs and lungs, but also to the mind. In such surroundings, one can soon clear away the cobwebs.

walking in Hyde Park

We are told it is beneficial to enjoy your work, but it is even better to get pleasure from the journey to work. It may still be rather cold, but surely a bad winter makes us appreciate good weather all the more? It can be a drawback if it is raining, but I stop at two watering holes within the park - a cafeteria, and a tennis club.

In my lazy days, I used to take a taxi to work. Not only was it expensive, but also quite stressful sometimes, trying to hail a cab, and then telling the driver the route you want to take. I also become claustrophobic after a short while in an enclosed vehicle.

I have also taken a bus to work, but you have to wait so long that it is often quicker to walk. Sometimes you have to spend the whole journey standing. I use Bus Savers, but most passengers must make sure their Oyster card is in credit.

When you walk to work, you are in control of your own destiny and know exactly when you will arrive. Your journey is peaceful as there are fewer mobile phones in use in the park and they are anyway not as intrusive. The roads are congested and traffic is noisy, belching out unhealthy fumes which threaten the environment. On the Serpentine are swans and ducks, murmuring and quacking. You can hear birds singing in the trees and you understand the expression, 'the best things in life are free'. Enjoy the freedom of nature with the flowers and the birds; it is, after all, natural.

In my youth I owned a bicycle, but nowadays cyclists seem to be anti-social, and are a common cause for complaint by the general public. That apart, a bicycle can be very easily stolen or damaged and it is increasingly difficult to find a secure place to park.

Walking is one of the gentlest, but most effective forms of exercise. You can do it in the countryside or the city... and it is free.


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About Robert D Dangoor

Robert D Dangoor has been writing aphorisms for over 37 years but he has now written 10 articles on the different aspects of human nature that we come across in every day life. All these can be viewed at

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