World Sauntering Day 2020: Know meaning, Important Date, Reasons to Celebrate World Sauntering Day, Significance, Benefits of Saunter

World Sauntering Day 2020: World Sauntering Day is observed on June 19 every year to celebrate the slowing down the pace of life to enjoy what is around us. Read the article to know the meaning of Sauntering, the reason to celebrate World Sauntering Day, ways to observe, History, and benefits of Sauntering.

Updated: Jun 09, 2020 18:04 IST

World Sauntering Day 2020: Know meaning, Important Date, Reasons to Celebrate World Sauntering Day, Significance, Benefits of Saunter

Suganya Vedham

World Sauntering Day 2020

World Sauntering Day is observed on 19 June every year. World Sauntering Day was conceived to counter the growing popularity of jogging and to encourage people to occasionally enjoy the benefits of strolling, rambling, and wandering in their lives. It may also be referred to as International Sauntering Day. The world has become used to moving a hectic rate, so much so that it slips every human mind to slow down and savour the small joys of life. 

Open people bump into others and rush through what is otherwise a leisurely mode of movement. This day does not just give an opportunity to remember to walk. It is a chance for everyone to take a relaxing break by choosing to saunter. The year 2020, however, has brought everyone the unexpected opportunity to slow down from normal life as lockdowns were imposed in many countries due to the spread of COVID-19. 

What is Saunter?

The word saunters simple means to walk in a slow, relaxed manner. It is a contrast to the hasty paces that we take to get from one place to another.  It has been advocated by writers and poets for ages. It was celebrated by none other than the writer Henry David Thoreau who stressed that sauntering should be done with an intention of ‘presence’ and not with the aim of productivity. 

The first instance of the use of the word “Saunter” in modern times was in the 17th century. The 19th-century writer Charles Baudelaire popularised the corresponding description of an urban saunterer or flâneur. A book called ‘Saunterings in and about London’ was published in 1923.

History of World Sauntering Day?

World Sauntering Day was initiated and created by W.T. Rabe in the year 1979. He proposed it as a counter to the activity of jogging that had begun to be widely practised in the US in the 1970s.  His intention was that people should slow down and take the time to appreciate the world surrounding them. The idea is supposed to have come to him while on vacation at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, in the state of Michigan, USA. It is touted that it may have been inspired by the world’s longest porch (at 660 feet) which is situated at the hotel. It was probably the perfect place to saunter about in a leisurely manner.

Rabe’s view was that jogging was a tedious attack on the body. According to him, the speed and effort take out all the joy from the movement by making each step painful and difficult. Sauntering is free movement from place to place. It was undoubtedly superior. With his approach, he gained a large following over the course of years as people began to relate with his thoughts.  Rabe also had some rules about being a saunterer. One of the many rules is that the person has to wear loose clothing. The other is that if you are accompanied by a dog, it has to be large enough to allow a comfortable sauntering pace but small enough to be carried.

How to celebrate World Sauntering Day?

A fun fact is that average walkers if they walk 1 mile or 1.6 kilometers, can burn through 100 calories. This makes sauntering a good idea, Following are some things you can do to take advantage of the day so that you can relax and observe the world without rush:

One can use your lunchtime to take a stroll in a nearby park or walk from work. 
Saunter to the local coffee shop, accompanied by a book and spend some relaxing time watching people.
Also, as the holiday is about getting away from the daily routine and finding a way to wind down, you can also chill at home or watch your favourite or stroll down the neighborhood.

What are the benefits of  Sauntering?

Although Rabe meant it in an ‘aimless’ kind of way, going for a walk outside is a good way to boost productivity through the day.  The benefits that come from walking daily are numerous. A saunter can greatly help your emotional wellbeing and bodily health. These are some positive points that can be derived from daily sauntering:

  • It helps to reduce stress

  • It lifts your mood and makes you happy

  • It is shown to lowers the risk of depression

  • Keeps your heart healthy 

  • It leads to enhanced brain functioning

  • It helps to strengthen bones

  • It aids in digestion

World Sauntering Day Quotes

“When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?“ - Henry David Thoreau

“Go out and walk. That is the glory of life,” - Maira Kalman

“To walk is to lack a place. It is the indefinite process of being absent and in search of a proper.” - Michel de Certeau

"If I couldn't walk fast and far, I should just explode and perish." - Charles Dickens

“Only thoughts won by walking are valuable.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.” - Henry David Thoreau

“After a day's walk, everything has twice its usual value.” - George Macauley Trevelyan

World Sauntering Day - FAQ

1. How often should I go on a walk or Saunter?

Sauntering does not focus on the number of times you go on a walk. The aim is to do it enjoyably whenever you do. You should do it whenever you can take time off your schedule. Doing it 3 times per week can also give some health benefits.

2. Is walking good enough exercise?

Four out of five experts opine that it is. Walking is definitely better than having no exercise at all. It also helps to relax one’s self and slow down the pace of life when done in a leisurely manner.

3. Does walking help to stimulate the brain?

Researchers have found that the foot's impact when one undertakes walking, sends pressure waves that significantly increases the blood supply to the brain. This helps to have an alert mind and clear thinking. 

4. What happens to your body when you walk?

It is scientifically proven that we think and learn better to engage in any form of exercise, like walking. This is because exercise pushes up cognition which has to do with blood flow. 

5. Who initiated World Sauntering Day?

World Sauntering Day was initiated and created by W.T. Rabe in the year 1979  in response to the growing popularity of jogging. He proposed it as a counter to the activity of jogging that had begun to be widely practised in the US in the 1970s.  His intention was that people should slow down and take the time to appreciate the world surrounding them.

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