Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, June 23, 2006

Learn a Language, Get In Shape!

by AJ

Lately Ive been combining two of my favorite activities: language learning and walking. I find they are an ideal combination.

I typically walk for 1-2 hours each day. I love strolling around San Francisco. I walk to the wharf, to Embarcadero, through Chinatown, around North Beach. San Francisco is a great city for walking... and the hills make for good exercise.

Lately, Ive been carrying my ipod as I stroll. Its now full of Spanish content. As I walk, I listen. Sometimes I mumble lines of Spanish to myself. SF is full of crazy people, so no one seems to notice or mind yet another person talking to himself ;)

The great thing is, these two activities work synergistically for me. When I learn Spanish at home or in a coffee shop, I often get sleepy. This is probably some form of unconscious resistance or laziness... cause I only get sleepy once I start studying! But when I walk, the exercise (and sights) invigorate me. I find Im able to concentrate better on what Im listening to. Because of this, I find I can sustain longer periods of listening than I can when Im sitting and doing it.

Spanish helps my exercise too. Because my mind is engaged in an interesting activity, I dont really notice myself getting tired. And so, I tend to walk for longer periods of time. I stroll all over the downtown area... up and down hills... through neighborhoods... all the while listening to my Spanish content.

When I need to work on something new that requires reading, I stop at a cafe in North Beach and work on it. Then I pack up and start walking again.

So... learning English, Spanish, or another language isnt just good for your brain... it can also be great for your body!!

San Francisco, CA