Before you start thinking hard

Please stand up and start walking around the room. Continue reading. Every step should take 3 seconds or more.

I know there are plenty of excuses. What I am suggesting is just plainly stupid, isn't it? Yet... 8 years ago when I started working from home full time most people thought that it was really bad idea...

If you can't put aside your doubts for 20 minutes and try that, then it may be better to read something else. Just bear in mind that most of that time you will be sitting while I will be doing decent physical activity. Multiply that by several hours a day.

The text below is for those who has tried the walk and are ready to acknowledge that it is not easy at all. For those who love discovering joy in simple things.

Snail walking introduction.

Everybody knows that to remain healthy human body needs certain amount of everyday physical exercise. Being a programmer for more than a decade I feel it every time I hang rooted to my laptop for too much time. I have been doing my work fully remotely for already 8 years. During all that time I learned how to remain quite healthy but never felt completely satisfied. A month ago The Lockdown came. The swimming pool got closed, cycling is forbidden. I have lost even those excuses. I call them excuses because I have never felt happy with all those. You know, to go swimming twice a week and ride a bicycle twice a week you need to be pretty self-disciplined. This is really quite routine and boring... OK, enough rhetoric.

The solution I came to is extremely slow walking indoor. Add to that your favorite book or... ready?! - your second self - your phone. And you will get an amazing activity. Now you need to raise your degrading rear muscles and start pacing over the room. Do it slowly. Every step should take 3-5 seconds.

Slow walking doesn't mean slow thinking. By now you should already be standing and trying to make you first unsteady snail steps.

Just be cautious. You can be in such unfit state that after a sudden jump from the sofa you may have your vision darken for several seconds - this what started on me after the first week of isolation. Google tells that there is nothing especially wrong - just don't stand up too quickly. The problem is that it is quite depressing.

Also, some people may feel dizzy reading and moving at the same time. I can't actually believe that a human didn't acquire the skill of picking into a phone on the go. Anyway, this also can be solved - just start from standing still and reading. Then start doing steps from time to time. You have all the time in the Universe. Believe me, even the most stubborn brains can be trained. For example, my vision stopped darkening after 4 days of snail walking.

I have been doing this technique for quite some time already. I assure you the amount of tweaks and variations is tremendous. Just be creative and pay attention to details.

Questions and answers

How much space do I need for that?

I have about a 6-step long streak of space in my room. If you have more space then it is good but not essential. If you have less space then it may be less comfortable, but still non-critical. You will need to make more turns and, maybe, walk even slower. Even 4 steps should be fine. Remember, the main goal is to make yourself addicted. So, I suggest during the first week make it as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. It means pick up an easy-reading and interesting book. Don't overdo it. Etc.

Book size and weight.

This is quite important. It should be comfortable. I currently have quite a top-notch EBook reader, which I am able to keep high enough in my hands all the time I walk. If you don't have anything suitable and you are not a bookworm yet then just start with your phone. Serf net, play games, whatever makes you happy. After some time you will naturally start experimenting. And everything will come.


We want snail walking to be beneficial for our health. So, try to maintain good posture. If you can't do that from the start it's fine. After some days your core muscles will strengthen and you may return to the subject. To have an understanding of a good posture just stand by the wall and remember it. For example, the most frequent error in the posture is when heaps are too much upfront.

What if some pain appears?

If legs start hurting somewhere then be cautious. Act depending on your health state and experience with physical activities. Again, if it makes the process non-enjoyable then just take a break until the pain disappears. If something unusual appears and remains then you may need to visit a doctor. Take me, for example. I have some chronicle condition in my right ankle joint. So, if I load it too much it starts hurting. This is the thing I have been used to for many years. I know my limits in that regard. Yesterday additional pain appeared in back shin muscles. This is also a familiar pain for me. It meant that I was a bit over-exercised. So, I just stopped. Over the night the pain disappeared.

What if I am exhausted?

The answer is similar. The process should be enjoyable. Otherwise, you will abandon it after several days/weeks/months of initial excitement. Take a break. The break can be even several days or a whole week.

How much time to spend on that per day?

I am reading or picking into a phone/tablet at least several hours a day. I think you are not much different. An hour a day is already good. Don't expect to be able to make an hour from the beginning. My sister, for example, was able to walk this way only for 10 minutes before her legs started giving up. Despite the fact that she lives in the countryside and has plenty of variuos walking during a day regularly.

How to make turns?

Wait a minute, you are asking how to make a turn while walking? Isn't it what every self-respecting toddler knows? OK, just joking. This is really important because the turn should be easy and as unnoticeable as possible. If it starts annoying you then it may spoil everything. I have started walking in circles. Then I found that doing it in eights is better. If you have enough space then it will be fine. But if your room is narrow like mine, then making 180 degrees turn every half a minute for half an hour can start hurting various leg joints. So, the best way I have found is one step turn. When you need to make the turn you put your front foot in 90 degrees. Beware, the outer side of the foot should be on the outer side. Move your weight. Finish the turn. Surprisingly it is much easier for joints than turning by an arc in several steps. This step is used sometimes in Tai Chi. Show that

If you have more questions or want to share your thoughts please join the group of genuine snail walkers on Facebook


Snail walking is just a starter. There are many similar things you can Google about. They are similar but they are not Snail Walking. The closest is Tai Chi walk. But... I wouldn't recommend to overthink it or get over-excited. Our goal is to develop a habit of snail walking while reading. Any excessive brain activity can spoil the process. Allow yourself to be slow.