The underrated art of walking and its benefits for a healthy body and mind.
Although humans are one of the most adaptable species on the planet, in times of uncertainty, we can all become a little “stuck”. Walking during times of stress can have an extremely beneficial effect on your body, mind, and soul. Personally, I have always found solace in my steps. A moving meditation from left to right, aligning my thoughts as I pulse to a natural rhythm.
If the current abundance of online training platforms leaves you overwhelmed, walking is the easiest and by far most achievable gift you can give your self. If you are frozen in your thoughts and find yourself at a loss with your favourite gym or yogalates studio closed, get walking. And even if you are loving your online programs, still get walking! It is the perfect boost to compliment your training and give your mind a break from the same four walls we are working, relaxing, dining and exercising in.
Exercise, as we all know, is encouraged by our leaders and it can definitely be done adhering to social distancing. Whilst we need to isolate and steer clear of other people, the rules are very clear on getting out for a walk (even in a strict NZ lockdown). It is important this message isn’t lost amongst the noise of the hashtag Stayhome.
If you need some convincing on why walking around the block will be the best thing you can do for yourself and in turn, those who live in your bubble, here you go…
Walking can ease your anxiety
Walking enables me to be precisely at the moment. It snaps my mind out of its freestyle trajectory. I have lost count of how many times I have sat on a loop in the house ruminating on what the next month or two of homeschooling will do to my sanity. By the time I arrive back from my walk, I have smiled at a stranger, witnessed the sun still rising or setting and remembered everything will be ok.
Walking can be done at any time
My husband works shift work, so for me, it can’t be done at the same time each day, like a nice routine wrapped up in a bow. One thing is for certain though, when he is at home, I can go. So even if it is with my wet weather jacket on, I pound the pavement. I always return back home in a better frame of mind.
It does not require a huge amount of motivation
There are days when I avoid any slight hill and travel at a snail’s pace. Days where I want to stay on the couch because I’ve finished an entire pack of family size salt and vinegar chips, so I think what’s the point? The point is that you still need to go because I have never, ever regretted it and it saves me from eating another packet. Oh, and of course, we all know that “steps” give us extra calories to consume so there you go another benefit!
It is a mood booster
In addition to getting the heart rate up and endorphins flowing, chuck on some tunes. In this increasingly monotonous and isolating time from our friends, listening to an old wild FM mix can give you a real buzz. It is fun reminiscing on dancefloor days which can take you back to the most enjoyable free feeling moments in your life….it can become tricky to keep your little private party on your headphones and I’ve often done an extra lap to finish a tune.
It is relatively injury-free
I wish this wasn’t the case, but I am really missing being able to train with someone who knows my body and ensures I am doing things properly. Walking gets me moving safely and I don’t have to worry about flaring up any old injuries.
It is free
This is the real clincher. A walk is something you won’t have to budget for.
If you are in the position to safely do so, I really hope you can somehow enjoy the pleasure of a simple walk in these “unprecedented” times. Hopefully, the remainder of the good old gentle stroll daily gives you some peace…