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Pondering while walking

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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Thank you! On my evergrowing reading list.
Indeed. DeSiva's statement "Walking changes our brains, and it impacts not only creativity, but also memory." gives me hope now at 82 that my past 10 caminos will endure as personal memories as long as I .
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I have wondered this entire year as I have taught remotely if I could not somehow lecture on virtual walks with my students (yes... I could record my lectures while I walk... but how could I build walking into their learning, and would it work for students who use wheel chairs or have mobility impairments??).
I happily listen to audiobooks and the new Apple podcasts designed for walking while I am out on my long walks, but I don’t know that I could compel my students to do it.
And yet, yes, we know that things heard while walking “stick” better and produce more thought than do lectures heard while sitting.
I am going to walk and ponder the idea and how to make it accessible for those with mobility impairments because, after all, I’ve just received my teaching assignment for the fall and it’s *remote* again.
And thank you @mspath for the recommended reading.
 
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I seem to walk in a semi dream world where reality only hits me when the belly starts rumbling. I also tend to wander off track quite a lot to see what there is to see over that hill rather than this hill. However I do feel cleansed mentally at the end of a long distance walk and ready to face the real world for a while longer. I try to concentrate on the landscape and just breathe in the isolation.
 

Micah26

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France's (2018)
When I walk I can’t do anything else like listen to music or books etc. So like Kathy I had to learn to do this for hrs in the Camino.

One book I always recommend to my patients is Walking the Blues Away by Thom Hartmann... he found that walking and thinking help the two sides of the brain to work together and help the healing process in depression, trauma, etc.
 
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Old Bamboo

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, Francigena, KumanoKodo,Benedetto, Iseji, Assisi, Kunisaki, Shikoku 88 (1~24), Kohechi,Dajia Mazu
Walking is when my mind ponders and works things out, problems are considered, memories are recalled, dreams are conjured. Listening to music or such while hiking is quite distracting and removes me from my surroundings. I'd much prefer to have as my soundtrack the natural sounds in my environment be it birdsong, babbling brooks or even distant traffic.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Walking is when my mind ponders and works things out, problems are considered, memories are recalled, dreams are conjured.
I like this description! And I think it's important to consider that some types of thinking and learning are enhanced by walking more than others might be.

I have wondered this entire year as I have taught remotely if I could not somehow lecture on virtual walks with my students
(I'm sure you have considered what I'm going to say. I'm not trying to tell you anything - just pondering here.)

Learning while multi-tasking is complicated. I have only my personal experience of this subject, but have found, for example, that I cannot do language lessons while driving. It would not be safe.

I sometimes do interactive Spanish drills while walking. They are exactly at the right level for me, with enough challenge but not too much. I find that I can do only about 30 minutes of this, before my interest and focus drop. Maybe I can do another session after another hour or so if I am on a long walk. I can do perhaps an hour at a time when my participation is only passive (listening to a lecture). Even so, when a difficult or complex concept is being addressed, I find that my walking pace slows significantly while I concentrate on the audio. If the subject is boring or too complicated, the distractions of the walk are too great to learn much.

On the other hand, I can walk and think my own creative thoughts (well, they seem creative to me ;)) for hours.

I am guessing that remote-and-walking learning would be quite complex, and would depend on the subject, and the person, and the walking environment.

we know that things heard while walking “stick” better and produce more thought than do lectures heard while sitting.
I am curious about this, as I'm not sure of my own experience. Is listening to a remote lecture retained in the same way as listening to a companion's speech or a bird call?
 

Lurch

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
looking at 2018-2019
Indeed. DeSiva's statement "Walking changes our brains, and it impacts not only creativity, but also memory." gives me hope now at 82 that my past 10 caminos will endure as personal memories as long as I .
At 76 I am a a few years behind you and hope I am still hiking when I reach 82 !
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I like this description! And I think it's important to consider that some types of thinking and learning are enhanced by walking more than others might be.


(I'm sure you have considered what I'm going to say. I'm not trying to tell you anything - just pondering here.)

Learning while multi-tasking is complicated. I have only my personal experience of this subject, but have found, for example, that I cannot do language lessons while driving. It would not be safe.

I sometimes do interactive Spanish drills while walking. They are exactly at the right level for me, with enough challenge but not too much. I find that I can do only about 30 minutes of this, before my interest and focus drop. Maybe I can do another session after another hour or so if I am on a long walk. I can do perhaps an hour at a time when my participation is only passive (listening to a lecture). Even so, when a difficult or complex concept is being addressed, I find that my w alking pace slows significantly while I concentrate on the audio. If the subject is boring or too complicated, the distractions of the walk are too great to learn much.

On the other hand, I can walk and think my own creative thoughts (well, they seem creative to me ;)) for hours.

I am guessing that remote-and-walking learning would be quite complex, and would depend on the subject, and the person, and the walking environment.


I am curious about this, as I'm not sure of my own experience. Is listening to a remote lecture retained in the same way as listening to a companion's speech or a bird call?
Good questions/observations.
Most of the research is coming out of cognitive science and research in teaching and learning, and it suggests that physical activity in general can help people to learn — not as a break once takes in the learning but a thing one does while listening. Sort of like the students who doodle or knit during lecture... and the activity helps the concentration. It is a mnemonic technique and has something to do with hearing/listening in a particular place... being aware and having the conversation come back to one more easily later as a result because one can say, effectively, “Oh yes! I was doing X when that concept came up, and I remember thinking... whatever whatever as I passed the blossoming cherry tree...”
Driving would absolutely not work because it requires too much attention.
Walking works and the pace would not matter.
The course I am teaching in the fall is quite complex (advanced social and cultural theory) but the concepts should not be new as it’s a “refinement” level rather than intro course, and the students *should* do the reading...
I do have the lectures pre-recorded, and the students will have to listen to them on their own time anyway, so I might suggest they listen and walk. And then I will walk while I talk with them in consultation hours.
Dunno... but the possibility to experiment is there, and to see how it is going after a few weeks.
 

Old Kiwi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I have been a long distance walker most of my life. It is while walking that I do most of my planning, designing, problem solving, organising, wondering and deep thinking. To me, listening to music would be a waste of good creative time. I tried to learn Italian form recorded lessons while I walked, but it did not work out for me.
 
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AZperegrino

Dreaming of the next Camino...
Past OR future Camino
2019
Jeremy DeSilva in this excerpt from his recent book considèrs varied links between
great thinking and obsessive walking
Thus pondering while walking may be very productive.
Thanks @mspath, that was an excellent recommendation. After reading the sample chapter following the link you provided, I got the book from my local library. The first half of the book was nothing like I expected based on the linked sample, but quite interesting nevertheless - a very engaging story of our development as a bipedal species. But eventually it did get to the parts about how walking affects brain function, etc. Fascinating. After reading a fair amount about 'Walking Meditation' by a variety of sources, this book provided a very different and useful perspective. I may read it again before I walk my next Camino.

BTW, I gather from a few of your other posts that you're not planning to walk more Camino's. However, I hope that you will stay active on this forum, and look forward to reading your posts on any related (or unrelated) subjects.

Ultreia!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
Jeremy DeSilva in this excerpt from his recent book considèrs varied links between
great thinking and obsessive walking
Thus pondering while walking may be very productive.
The book looks good.
But, even more, thanks for introducing me to such a nice website! I "hunger" for a place where I can find more books to read, written by smart people. I just spent much more time than I had planned, just browsing around, seeing what was on the site. I love it.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Good questions/observations.
Most of the research is coming out of cognitive science and research in teaching and learning, and it suggests that physical activity in general can help people to learn — not as a break once takes in the learning but a thing one does while listening. Sort of like the students who doodle or knit during lecture... and the activity helps the concentration. It is a mnemonic technique and has something to do with hearing/listening in a particular place... being aware and having the conversation come back to one more easily later as a result because one can say, effectively, “Oh yes! I was doing X when that concept came up, and I remember thinking... whatever whatever as I passed the blossoming cherry tree...”
Driving would absolutely not work because it requires too much attention.
Walking works and the pace would not matter.
The course I am teaching in the fall is quite complex (advanced social and cultural theory) but the concepts should not be new as it’s a “refinement” level rather than intro course, and the students *should* do the reading...
I do have the lectures pre-recorded, and the students will have to listen to them on their own time anyway, so I might suggest they listen and walk. And then I will walk while I talk with them in consultation hours.
Dunno... but the possibility to experiment is there, and to see how it is going after a few weeks.
I always take notes when listening to anything like a lecture. Reading, I underline. Did all through school, still must if I really must remember something.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I always take notes when listening to anything like a lecture. Reading, I underline. Did all through school, still must if I really must remember something.
Nothing would prevent the students from doing that… but encouraging them to walk while listening (and then writing about it later for a few minutes of reflection) could have very very strong benefits. The motion and the visual memories of place actually work together with audio lectures to produce not only better retention, but better synthesis as well. But if they want to listen while sitting at a desk, they can. I’m merely interested in the possibilities of extending the cognitive science into a potentially very fruitful application for those who would like to try walking and listening instead of sitting and listening.
 

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