Take a walk and experience the endless benefits

If you would like to be calm and less stressed and; you would like to simplify and declutter your life; walks are a wonderful thing to introduce into your life. If you take a walk regularly, you are improving your health both mentally and physically and you are giving yourself time to think objectively about the challenges of the day. You will also experience more positivity and confidence as you fill your body with endorphins. Once you don’t push too hard and, you don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions, there is nothing but benefits to be gained when you take a walk.

In olden days, people always made time to take a walk; at least once per day. That was before they knew about all of the health benefits of doing so. People understood that if you take a walk, you will clear your mind and change your emotions. When they experienced a problem which seemed insurmountable, they would take a walk, clear their mind, increase their positivity and focus on solving the problem. Time after time, they would find that they were able to think of new solutions as they walked.

Why you should take a walk

You should take a walk each day, regardless of how long or short that walk may be. There really is an endless list of benefits but I will cover some of the most important here:

1. Stress free exercise

When you take a walk, you are enjoying low-impact, stress free exercise. A lot of exercise is strenuous and some people just are not able for it. It may be that they need to build themselves up to the more difficult forms of exercise or there may be medical reasons why they cannot put much strain on their body.

Either way, walking makes the ideal form of exercise. They can walk at their own pace, over the terrain of their choice to ensure minimum exposure to strain. Of course, both the terrain and the pace can be adapted to increase the challenge of the walk, as and when required.

2. Stress relief for the brain

When you take a walk, you switch your brain onto autopilot mode; more accurately referred to as the default mode network. This allows your brain to think about nothing in particular, unless you specifically choose to. Allowing your mind to wander aimlessy like this means that your mind is no longer focused on the stresses or difficulties you are facing in other areas of your life. This means that while your body might be enduring a little more pressure; your mind is getting a good rest.

Just like your body, when your mind gets a good rest, you can return to your work full of energy and enthusiasm. Also, with having a break from your problems, you can now look at them with a fresh set of eyes and a new sense of creativity. This is often all that is needed to solve a difficult problem.

3. Peace and calm

If you want to increase the benefits you derive from your walk; why not take a walk in a beautiful, scenic area. When you reconnect with nature, you reconnect with the source of your energy. Have you ever noticed how you feel more alive when you are in nature? This is not a coincidence.

Studies have shown that just being in the presence of nature is enough to restore your energy and fill you with peace and calm.

When you are experiencing a hectic lifestyle, it is even more important to escape into nature and restore your natural state.

Making time to take a walk

Maybe you have been reading this and thinking, ‘Carthage that’s great but I don’t have the time to take a walk.’ If you thought that, you don’t really need me to tell you that it’s just an excuse. There are a number of ways to fit a walk into your life. Here are just a few examples:

1. Take a walk first thing

Start the day with a walk. One of the easiest ways to defeat the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse is to get up earlier and get it done before you have the chance to make the excuse.

2. Make it a family activity

If you like to spend time with your family and loved ones and, you would like to take a walk more often; why not make it a family activity? Not only would you be getting health benefits but you would be instilling positive habits in your family and teaching them about the importance of health and exercise. Why tell them when you can show them?

3. Walk and talk

Whether on the phone or in person, if you want to talk to a friend, why not take a walk while you talk. You will experience the best of both worlds.

4. Squeeze a short walk in

There are loads of old examples of how you can fit a short walk into your day. You can do this more than once per day if you do not have the time to take one long walk. Here are few quick examples:

  • Get off the bus a stop or two earlier
  • If you have to go out for an appointment, ditch the car and walk
  • Take a brief walk as a break between tasks
  • Walk to a friend’s house for a quick chat rather than phone them
  • Walk up and down the stairs in work rather than use the lift

The possibilities for squeezing a walk in can be endless. One example is that I used to work 12 hour shifts many years ago. I would have 3 thirty minute breaks during the shift. On each break, I would go for a fifteen-minute gentle walk before having a light snack. At the end of each shift, I had enjoyed 45 minutes of exercise.

If you want to learn more about simplifying your life and improving your health, happiness and performance, check out Scaling Back.

If you want to get more joy from life, make sure you take a walk on a daily basis. There are so many benefits that you will experience and few, if any drawbacks. Instead of wasting time watching mundane television or participating in activities that add no value to your life; take a walk to boost your health and happiness.