Firstly I want to apologise for my lack of blog posts. I had a bit of time away from the computer for a friend’s wedding and then soon after I got sick with a nasty cold that insisted on hanging around. To be fair that’s probably because I don’t do ‘resting’ well… I tend to feel lazy, think about all the things ‘I should be doing’, and insisted on getting to most of my planned social activities until practical hubby put his foot down… haha yes sir.
Anyway back to walking. I love walking, I find it such a meditative experience (especially if outdoors). It’s relaxing and allows you to be at peace with your thoughts or if walking with friends, it’s a good opportunity to chat and be active at the same time. Now that it’s warmer and we are getting longer days in Australia (daylight savings for the win) I have been enjoying walking my dog before work or after dinner and the past few days going for 20 minute walks on my lunch break.
Accomplished walking up Ayres Rock, Northern Territory… calves were definitely sore after that climb.
Walking is a form of low impact, natural movement that can be done by nearly everyone regardless of their level of fitness. Some of the many benefits of walking include
- Its meditative and grounding, especially when outside and barefoot
- Tones your legs, bum, core and arms. True… try hiking uphill
- Can increase longevity
- Assists injury recovery and prevention by strengthening bones and easing muscle tension
- Improves blood glucose control if you go for a walk after eating a meal
- Is a natural energiser (boost circulation and increases oxygen supply)
- Good for the heart – lowers blood pressure and triglyceride levels
- Gives you a chance to think and brainstorm with a clearer perspective
- Reduces stress… just try it and you’ll see for yourself
- Helps improve your memory and boost cognitive ability
- Helps prevent falls in elderly and improve arthritis
- Encourages weight loss or weight maintenance
As per dot point 1, I find walking very meditative and here is an easy exercise you can do to enhance that meditative experience while you are walking. Just inhale for 4 steps, hold your breath for 2 steps and exhale for 4 steps. It might feel a little unnatural to start with but if you count your steps to start with, within no time you will be able to do this automatically without counting. You can adjust the speed of your steps or increase/decrease your counts if you feel you would benefit from inhaling and exhaling for a shorter or longer period of time. By focusing on the inhale and exhale, you can clear your mind of any stressors. If you notice your mind drifting back to the cares of the day, just consciously bring your attention back to counting your steps or focusing on your breath in, hold and out… in, hold and out. Ahhh. Don’t be surprised if you return from your walk clear headed, peaceful.