How to Save the World by Walking
A review of "The Walk"
Ok, so you won't actually save the world...but that is the premise of the exercise app called The Walk. This program plays like an audio book, but you have to walk certain lengths of time before unlocking the next piece of the story. With each audio that you unlock, you are given a reason why you must keep walking (to escape an enemy, to reach a certain landmark, etc.) I've just completed episode 27 (there are 51 episodes total, plus some optional "challenges"), and I am just as invested in the storyline now as I was at the beginning. Below, I will outline the basic plot (don't worry, no spoilers!), what I love about the app, any criticisms I have, and an overall cost-to-benefit analysis.
The story starts at Inverness Station in the UK. An EMP throws the station into complete chaos. You are approached by a woman amidst this chaos and given a mysterious package, which she says you must bring to Edinburgh. You also receive a small earpiece that allows you to communicate with a woman named Charlie. Charlie has access to sophisticated resources and therefore guides you during your journey by scanning your environment, finding you safehouses at which to stay, running background checks on anyone you meet, and other helpful actions. It is your responsibility to keep the package safe, as it supposedly holds crucial information for taking down the terrorist organization behind the EMP blast at Inverness (I say "supposedly," because at this point I wouldn't be surprised by a huge plot twist where the package doesn't really contain what its said to contain). If the package gets into the wrong hands, it could mean disaster not only for the UK but for the entire world. Thus, the fate of the world rests in your hands and in your ability to walk.
What I Love About the App
I don't even know where to begin when describing what I love about this app. In short, I love it all!
- Probably my favorite feature is that rather than measuring distance walked, it measures the amount of time you spend walking. This allows you to walk as slow or as fast as you wish (you can even run if you want, add weights, or customize it however you wish). I personally like to walk at a slower pace when I go on The Walk and to clean up my house as I go. I have three children aged 5 and under, so this is a fun way for me to tidy up after my little hurricanes without it feeling like work. I just carry my phone in one hand as I carry toys, dirty dishes, or trash in the other. I make sure I find items in each room that need to go to the opposite end of the house (which isn't hard to do considering my kids can rearrange any toy organization I had going within ten minutes), then I just walk, walk, walk. I have found that if I take a short break (such as getting a snack or a glass of milk for the kids), the app can sense that I'm not moving. Then, when I pick up my phone and start walking again, it picks right back up!
- Another feature I enjoy is that each episode of The Walk is approximately an hour and a half long, which is a sufficient length to help me feel the wellness benefits. I don't remember the first five episodes being quite as long (they were closer to an hour), so when the episodes started expanding in length I was a little intimidated at first. Because I am so excited to unlock the next audio, however, I have found that the 90 or so minutes seem to fly by. If there's ever a day where I can't fit in the whole episode, I simply close the app and it saves my progress so I can finish the episode another day.
- On each episode, there are objects to find as you progress on the map. This is an extra little bonus to keep me intrigued in between audio segments.
- THE STORYLINE! The storyline, in my opinion, is amazing. I was hooked from the very first episode. I kept questioning how they could possibly stretch the story out over 51 episodes, but there are so many plot twists and cliffhangers that keep me wanting to walk even after the 90-ish minutes are over.
My only criticism is that there is a strange occurrence where occasionally I'll have closed the app partway through an episode, just to find later in the day that I've somehow completed the episode. I am assuming my two-year-old opens the app while playing with my phone in these situations, but my mom (who started The Walk after I recommended it to her) said it happens to her frequently. I'm not sure how much of this is due to user error or how commonly this occurs, but it's my only complaint. It's also not a big issue to me, as I usually complete an entire episode in one walk, but it is something to consider as one potential drawback.
Although the first five episodes of The Walk are free, the app costs a reasonable $5.99 a month after that. An added benefit is that not only do you unlock the entire story for The Walk, but you also gain access to all the exercise programs by Six to Start. This includes Zombies, Run! and several other programs. Considering that this is basically an audio book that continually motivates you to meet your wellness walking goal, the low price tag is much more affordable than other wellness apps, a gym membership, or even most audio books! With its amazing storyline, continuous plot twists, and self-paced structure, The Walk is well worth the money and is a fun way to keep your heart healthy and your mood elevated.
To check out The Walk for yourself (the first five episodes are free!) simply download the app on Google Play or the App Store.
About the Creator
Malia is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing. Her novel, Saving Eve, and her children's book, The Christmas Spirit, are both available on Amazon. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres and sharing her imagination with others.
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