Take a Walk for Exercise Like John Quincy Adams

By Heather Rockwood, Communications Manager

As the weather warms it’s time to be out of doors, and the best way to enjoy the weather is to take a walk—just like John Quincy Adams. His parents encouraged him in both diary writing and walking, he notes in many of his diary entries, and he kept a diary from the age of 11 in 1778 until his death in 1848, at age 81. He was a believer in walking for exercise even in inclement weather. On 22 November 1792 he wrote, “Very cold. exercise by way of punishment, walked a great deal.” He lamented how his commitments prevented him from his favorite exercise on 14 July 1811, “My occupation, my Company, and the weather prevented me the whole day from my usual exercise of walking.” And towards the end of his life, on 14 May 1847, he found it hard to walk, “I took a short walk in the afternoon, but finding it from day to day, more difficult to walk, fear that I must henceforth, confine all my bodily exercise, to riding in a carriage.”

Black and white image of black ink handwriting on paper. It is in cursive and a little hard to read.
Diary of John Quincy Adams, 14 May 1847.

Explore the John Quincy Adams Diaries, but first, go take a walk!