Walking is something that most take for granted, but stop! Don’t do that. Walking is one of the best ways to move your body. Not only is it good for your physical body, it also carries over a huge amount of benefit to your mental health as well. The fresh air, the connection with nature and full-body low-impact exercise is good for anyone, and is especially important at times like now, during this coronavirus pandemic. Get the most out of this most simple and enjoyable forms of exercise (or ‘self-transportation’) in Walking: 5 Excellent But Hidden Key Benefits!
Going outside and connecting with nature is something we should be doing on a regular basis of course, but since we may not be doing a huge amount of that right now, let’s take advantage of being based at home (not needing to travel to/from work) and use that time to cultivate a habit of walking at least once a day for 30-40 minutes!
1. Connect with Nature
Grounding is a mindfulness technique where you connect with the ground by focusing on the connection of your feet to the surface beneath. This technique helps you take your thoughts off your worries, and calms you down.
Focusing on your connection to the ground and to your surroundings, noticing the small, beautiful things that nature gifts us with, most definitely lifts your mood and reduces stress levels.
2. Establishes a Regular Breathing Pattern
When you’re walking, you are more likely to focus on inhaling and exhaling rhythmically.
Breathing to the rhythm of your footsteps is a great way to stabilise your oxygen exchange. Getting fresh air when walking delivers an increased amount of oxygen to your brain, and helps you focus your mind, enabling you to make better decisions.
3. Walking is a Light & Pleasant form of Cardio
Walking is a form of cardio though it might not feel like it! It actually burns the same number of calories as running does for the same distance (5km of running = 5km of walking).
Walking is also much better for your joints, and as it’s a low-impact bodyweight exercise, it’s a great alternative for anyone who has issues with joints or other pain/injuries. In addition, it is readily accessible to everyone blessed with legs.
4. Ideal for Clearing the Mind
Walking can refocus the mind and help you let go of or mobilize troublesome thoughts. Just walking on its own is a very meditative process and helps you let go of unnecessary clutter in your head. In comparison to running, it allows you to think about things that are important to you, and often come up with innovative problem solutions and creative ideas.
5. Improves Blood Circulation
As with all types of exercise, walking improves blood circulation. It involves all parts of the body, which means that the whole body will receive an increased blood supply. This is great for improving your metabolism, decreasing insulin resistance, as well as reducing risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis.