Like Craig Mod, Ryan Holiday appreciates the value of walking. He loves nothing better than talking a long stroll in the countryside surrounding his farm (pictured above … here’s hoping he usually hangs on to the stroller). Brought on by an injury, he learned that the act of walking does something for our minds that is peaceful, freeing, and productive.

But it should be said that walking thoughts are usually a different kind of thought. They are not the racing thoughts of the worried mind. Or the distracted thoughts of the workplace mind. They are, as many walkers attest, more naturally reflective, calmer and contemplative.

I hope this is crystal clear: achieving clarity or a burst of inspiration is not a side benefit of walking. As if the exercise itself is the purpose and the calm, ordered thinking is just a secondary nice-to-have.

I walk in order to gain clarity and be productive in all the areas of my life.

Exercise itself? That is secondary. And living in the country affords one many other ways to get fit (have you seen my axe?) If you're on the fence, take 2–3 slots on your calendar this week and schedule a 30–60 minute walk. You’ll be better for it!