Two Doctors

The benefits and joys of walking, strolling, tramping, trudging, rambling and trekking, by day or night, across hill, moor and mountain. Throughout the ages famous and non famous folk alike have shared a common enjoyment in the simple pleasures of the countryside, and achieved contentment by venturing there on foot. In the time of Dickens, in the words of Bellec, in the views of Thoreau, and the ways of Beerbohm, the pleasures of walking appear as fresh today as yesterday, and ready for your enjoyment.



Many of my essays overlap, where I sometimes repeat themes. I think this OK because we’re all subjected to an onslaught of repeat propaganda and outright lies, therefore I feel we need to perhaps keep going over areas again and again to reinforce elements of the truth.



In one of my recent posts “Lemons & Limes” I spoke about the benefits of walking as a daily healthy activity. The right leg and the left leg being your two doctors for health.



I thought this was such an important aspect of health, I ought to expand on it.



Firstly we need to look at the modern phenomenon of jogging.



Basically STOP IT!! It is insanity. It is more modern day conditioning. It is unhealthy and a very unnatural way to burn off access energy and ultimately it is destructive to the human body.



Just look at most long-term joggers for crying out loud, their faces alone should tell you enough.



I don’t care if they they proclaim it has helped them loose weight, or even if you have lost weight through jogging, it is a nonsense. You could lose weight far more easier and healthier if you had a brisk walk every day, whilst avoiding much of the acidic foods which I touched on in “Lemons & Limes”.



Jogging is another trendy conditioned Westernized activity which is detrimental to our health. Think about it – when in any natural environment would we need to jog? Never! You can run hard and fast from danger, or you may sprint hard to catch a pray, but never ever jog.



It is an adrenaline rush and fix and may well keep some people very fit, but certainly not healthy. Fit vs healthy.



I used to have SO many joggers, or X joggers come into my clinic with knackered knees and shattered bodies. They were almost nervous wrecks. Because that is what jogging does, it plays absolute havoc on the body in the long run (no pun intended). It is the constant diagonal pounding on the body which is so unhealthy. It shatters the cranial sacral system, messes with the adrenals, agitates the joints and surrounding tissues and plays havoc on the spine.



P-l-e-a-s-e STOP JOGGING!!



Yea sure there are some fit long-term joggers, still pounding those streets. But they are the ones just like some long term smokers who have managed to slip through the nets. They just have stronger constitutions, but ultimately they all pay the price in the end. Many end up with nervous system and structural related conditions.



Jogging is essentially a diagonally orientated forward movement. Whereas these following four forward movements are all horizontally-based:

1/. Amble – very slow walk, like meandering around window shopping. Great for post surgery or elderly or disabled people.

2/. Walk – excellent form of exercise for all people for most levels. 100% natural and very healthy.

3/. Brisk walk – great for cardio vascular and adrenaline. brilliant for weight loss. Good for youth. Good also for covering vast areas. The army use an awful lot of brisk walking.

4/. Sprint – very good for adrenaline and cardio. Best results are in short blasts. It may be best to warm up first. Only sprint when in sufficient health. It may take months to build up to this level.

These four above areas are all natural forward motions.



Some benefits of “Traveling afoot” 

* It’s FREE (once you have bought your walking boots)


* It’s natural


* It’s encourages one into nature or pleasant environments to view scenery, wildlife, local villages, areas of interest. And at a pace which is natural, as opposed to whizzing past poignant places in a car or bike. One can have the opportunity to absorb the microcosm of life in walking.


* Excellent way to lose weight


* Amazingly healthy on a physical level – aligns the body, regulates natural rhythms, creates natural osmosis actions to help waste and nutrient distribution


* The best mental therapy out there in my opinion. Clears the cobwebs, allows us the time for necessary internalizing, it stimulates the right/left brain patterns. It is precious reflective thinking time.


* Spiritually one is connecting with nature and the process can be almost meditative.


* If one is fortunate enough to have a good walking partner, then the experience can be mutually beneficial and therapeutic.


* There are many add ons to plain ol walking such as:

– orienteering/navigating

– wild camping

– bushcraft/survival

– night walks (moon walks) listen to the forrest come alive

– social walking groups and holidays

– foraging and fauna observations

– familiarize oneself with the technical equipment: tech clothing, super light gear, camping/overnight equipment, high tech gadgetry.



Not a lot beats the absolute pleasure of sitting down in an isolated scenic view for a break,

with a cuppa and bite to eat; after having done a few hours steady hiking. 




Basic Equipment 

[depending on the terrain and planned extent of hike/walk]



QUALITY BOOTS!! This is your number one investment. Don’t skip on half measures. Although I have bought second hand boots before and they have been some of my best boots. Worth doing some independent research.



OS Map and compass. Learn how to use them. Become familiar with them. They could save your life! Consider even doing a basic orienteering course. These courses can be quite a laugh. You may also consider having a GPS.



I would invest also in some good quality gel souls. You can get them as whole inner souls, or just gel pads for heel support. I find the best ones are from osteopathic style shops. I then use flexible builders adhesive to glue them in overnight.



Quality hiking socks, with silver within them. Some people use inner socks too. In winter conditions bring a spare pair too, incase you have to overnight and dry pair will prevent frost bite or hypothermic conditions.



Walking sticks. I finally have got the walking sticks bug. I thought they were just a pretentious fad at first, but I tell you once hooked, walking in rough terrain just ain’t the same without them. It’s like four-wheel drive walking with them. Excellent for slippery conditions, for uphill and down hill walking, takes so much strain off the knees and joints generally over time. You can cover so much more ground and at a quicker rate too. Protects you slightly from dogs. Can use them for poles for a tarpaulin for emergencies.



Marino wool. An amazing natural fiber. For all clothing: socks, underwear, long-johns, t-shirts, tops. It helps regulate temperature, so you don’t heat up too much and don’t freeze when it gets damp or even wet. It dries super fast by a fire and seems to fend off body odour. it compacks reaaly well and is very lightweight, so you can easily take a spare T-shirt. Like the sticks, once you have worn marino, you won’t want anything else. Avoid cotton at all costs in any outdoor activity.



Lightweight rucksack. Some have an arched back support to allow your back some ventilation. A 20 liter size is all you may need for a day’s hike. Some people prefer waste packs instead. I ties lots of different size cable ties to mine, they always come in handy.



Weather proofing top and maybe bottoms depending on time of year. Best get breathable.



Basic survival kit, if you’re going more far a field to isolated areas, especially in winter. Like the map and compass, become familiar with the kit. Make your kit personal. Basic things like a fire starting and enhancing pack, mini torch, etc. There are stacks of info on survival kits. If you are planning to go far a field, it make be prudent to do a basic survival course to learn the four necessities (fire, shelter, water and food sourcing). These courses are also great fun. Maybe useful too for down the line in a survival situation.



Basic first aid kit: bandages, wipes, plasters, etc. You may want to bring a snake bite kit if venturing out. Could put some aloe vera gel, vit e cream, citronella for repel mossy bites in their too.



Mobile phone, fully charged or with a wind up or solar charger.



Hat – which covers your ears. Very important and very underestimated piece of equipment/clothing. Even for a light hike, it can make things so much more enjoyable to take the wind off your ears and reduce heat loss (radiation).



Liquid and food – depending on trip. You may even invest in a mini mobile water filter/purifier. So important to keep hydrated, before you notice you are hydrated.



Watch or means of tracking the time.



Torch – even a lightweight basic led type. Just in case you get stuck out.



Mini stove to make a brew. For refreshment, pleasure and may even help to reduce hypothermia in a survival situation. The lithium compact super lightweight stoves are incredible now and you hardly notice them in your kit, yet they give so much back.



Spirit of enjoyment and adventure. Essential!



Lightweight tarpaulin if there is a risk of getting caught out. They are super-light and comp-actable these days. Your walking sticks can act as poles with lightweight guide ropes. It could make a welcome cover if you’re caught in a downpour on top of a hill.



Pen and notepad – great for notes, jot ideas, may meet up with people on route and need to share info (truth info :-)). Bring a sealable plastic transparent bag in case you need to leave a note inside for an emergency in all weathers.



Sharp sheath knife for all round purposes. A mini diamond sharpening stone is also handy to have.




Prepping for a long Hike

Plan your route properly. Best the night before. Be realistic with your timings. It’s vital. Expect the unexpected. Allow for breaks, pauses and possible alterations in routes i.e. boggy areas, or closed off areas.



Get your kit prepped days before a hike, the main kit well in advance.



If you are new to hiking it often pays to prep your feet with a good massage. I recommend ‘Weleda’ arnica massage balm (yellow box, blue bottle). Excellent to prevent injury and strain on your most important hiking equipment. Your feet have more bones in them than any other part of the body. Give your ankles a good workout with the massage oil. Perhaps even your knees. If you don’t have arnica oil, just use any vegetable oil.



Inform others of your route and your etr (estimated time of return) if you are going off to isolated areas on your own, or just one other person.



Good company. This is actually very important. You don’t want to be stuck on an 8 hour hike with someone who is just not compatible both conversation wise, and also ability wise. Having someone who has a very similar waking pace and experience can make the hike exponentially more enjoyable. Also you want to feel comfortable and 100% safe with that person before going into isolated locations.




“And now the sun had stretched out all the hills,

And now was dropped into the western bay;

At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue;

Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new.”

Enjoy your health, enjoy your walk

Leave a comment


  1. KPRyan

     /  February 2, 2013

    Like this, Digger.

    I get home after dark most nights from my business. I live (fortunately) in the Cascade mountain foothills and on a golf course. And I have a dog (my yellow lab unfortunately passed away last year in his 14th year; now I have a smaller Australian Cattle Dog… I love all labs and greatly admire their temperments… but this highly energetic ACD is likely the smartest dog I’ve ever had… I swear he sleeps with one eye open so he’s certain not to miss any action) so we walk each night. Not long hikes, but 1/2 to 1 hour walks. We’ve had snow on the ground for the last 2 months but it melted off yesterday and today was sunny. Thus tomorrow my boys and I will hopefully get out to play a bit of golf!

    That’s all an aside to my point though.

    Have you read Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London?

    It has been a long time since I’ve read it, but I seem to recall Orwell used his feet to get around Southern England and it was thru walking that he encountered so many different people… people who became brief subjects of his book.

    Had Orwell been driving or riding a horse or flying a plane, he’d have not had the interactions that made that book so good. One never knows who one might meet on foot.

    • Thank you K,

      Sounds an idyllic area you live in.

      Yes I have read, a few years back. I have a collection of Orwell’s books. It’s a shame mainly “1984” and “Animal Farm” just seem to get the attention.

      I take your point, I always think of that when taking a hike, how much detail you pick up. Can I highly recommend this book at the end of this post by Satish Kamur. He walked 8000 miles as a peace pilgrimage from India to America – without touching any money. For any walked, it is well worth a read. Enjoy.

      Thank you again for contributing.

  2. KPRyan

     /  February 3, 2013

    Thank you – I’ll give it a read!


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