People walk for a variety of reasons, although in general, probably not as often as they should. There’s the walking that has to be done, the type we take for granted and hardly even notice. There’s walking for exercise or leisure – think of a good long hike that really gets the blood pumping, or a stroll on the beach whose intended effect is the opposite.
In his essay “Walking,” Thoreau describes what he calls the “art” of walking:
“I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of talking walks,–who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived ‘from idle people who roved the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre,’ to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, ‘There goes a Sainte-Terrer,’ a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.