Even tho I pride myself on being a Wellness Guru, I am realizing that this current reality is getting to me and I need to pull out all those wellness stops I can think of to survive. In the past, I was a runner but after physical back pain became an issue, I transitioned into walking. But is walking really enough to provide any significant health benefits?
I will admit that transitioning from running to walking was difficult because I held the belief that you couldn’t get the same benefit from walking that you get from running. Over time, however, I discovered that was a false belief so I embraced walking whole-heartedly as my new mode of exercise. So much so that at one point in my wellness career, I even coordinated the Shoe Crew, a walking club of 1500 employees from many businesses with challenges, big prizes, and data that showed participants lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and felt better.
The Coping Benefits of Taking a Walk
So now it is time to revisit the importance of walking outside as a way to cope with what is happening in our lives today. Here are some tips.
FACT: You have renewed quality time to share with family members
Social support may provide a resource for coping that dulls the detrimental impact of stressors on well-being. Those receiving support from their family members may feel a greater sense of self-worth, and this enhanced self-esteem may be a psychological resource, encouraging optimism, positive affect, and better mental health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954612/
FACT: Your pet will appreciate exercising with you
Regularly exercising your pet is just as important as exercise for you. Health benefits range widely but include helping hip joints, reducing digestive problems, and keeping your dog and cat at a healthy weight, which decreases the likelihood of developing other health problems. And your pet will have fewer behavioral problems, as will you! https://www.spcaflorida.org/blog/importance-of-regular-exercise-for-your-pets/
FACT: You will appreciate being in nature and all the benefits
Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function. People who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health
FACT: You will have time to clear your mind
Spending time outside improves mood and reduces feelings of anxiety. We can focus better in nature, and our improved concentration can help us address feelings of stress and anxiety. Self-esteem can also receive a boost after time spent wandering outdoors. Peace and mental clarity is a big reason why being outside is important. https://askthescientists.com/outdoors/
FACT: You will think more creatively
In one Stanford University study, researchers found that walking boosts creative output by 60%. New insights come to us when we “pause and unload” our minds. This process is necessary for creative thinking since otherwise we would be stuck forever in the same preconceptions and patterns of thinking. https://brainworldmagazine.com/stepping-creativity-walking-meditation-creative-brain/
FACT: You will reduce your stress level
Walking is relaxing — it releases tension from the muscles of the body through light exercise and distracts the mind from its own busyness. It is a rhythmic activity. Each step and swing of the arms creates a distinct cadence. Rhythm is known to lower brainwave frequency, as studies of the therapeutic value of drumming have confirmed. https://brainworldmagazine.com/stepping-creativity-walking-meditation-creative-brain/
FACT: You can break away from negative news for awhile
Walking is a great time-out opportunity that you control. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s going on in the news is out of our hands, and sometimes we must remind ourselves of that so that we can stay sane and work on what is within our power. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-headline-stress-disorder-do-you-have-it-ncna830141
So what do you think? Sounds like a great drug-free healthy prescription that we need right now and is free! Let’s get outside and get moving!
Here are some inspiring quotes to post and share with others to encourage walking.
If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk. Hippocrates
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. Henry David Thoreau
It is solved by walking. Latin phrase Solvitur ambulando
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Friedrich Nietzsche