Many of you will know that I've been in walking training for a few weeks. It started out as a fundraising activity (which it still is), but it's also become an inspired pastime and a great lesson in mindfulness.
I've discovered that your purpose for walking greatly impacts the style of walking which you chose to adopt, if you're physically able. Your everyday running around the house, or going shopping and being at work is mostly an automatic necessity. Walking for pleasure creates a different resonance within you and walking for a purpose, be it for exercise, for fundraising or a competition puts greater edge to that resonance...
I am not a great lover of the gym and I can dance to salsa music for hours, which has been my preferred form of healthful movement for over twenty years. I love the fun and excitement that it offers and the energy of the music, combined with the movement, resonates within my soul. Nonetheless as I get older and hopefully wiser, I find that my tastes are evolving, don't get me wrong, I still love to be out there on the dance floor, but I have always preferred to zip around in my car, rather than walk lol...how unhealthy is that?
To my surprise this walking movement routine has opened up a new engagement with and for my surroundings. Having learned mindfulness of walking practice many years ago, I am able to bring an energy of present consciousness to walking in the local hills and I experience a feeling the aliveness in my body in a different way.
Did you know that there are several studies that attest to the benefits of walking? They include great benefits like:
Walking strengthens your heart
You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.
Walking lowers disease risk
Regular walking helps to reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, with an active movement such as walking.
Walking can help you to lose weight
You’ll burn energy just by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. You can up your speed to 3mph or 4mph and burn up more energy. Aim to include a short walk into your daily routine and you should be able shed the pounds in no time.
Walking can prevent dementia
Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80. If you're not in that age group, why not ask an elder to accompany you on some of your walks.
Walking tones up your legs, bottom and tummy
Walking is a great movement for giving definition to your calves, quads and hamstrings while lifting your glutes (bum muscles) with a good, regular walk. If you can add in some hill walking into your routine thats even more effective. If you also pay attention to your posture, you’ll also tone your abs and waist.
Walking boosts vitamin D
It helps to get outside more as many people in the UK and other European countries are vitamin D deficient, affecting important things like bone health and your immune system. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.
Walking gives you energy
You’ll get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.
Walking makes you happy
It’s a great to boost your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must.
Recently at the Tony Robbins weekend, as part of the 10-Day challenge, we were asked to commit to walking for 20 minutes walking per day, which has become a daily joy, since before that I was not walking regularly, only intermittently as time and travel commitments allowed. I still love the convenience of my car, but I've found another way to enjoy physical movement, which is a essential requirement for empowered health and wellness.
Especially surprising to me, is that I'd actually forgotten that several years ago, I trained to be a walk leader, leading weekly healthy walks in my local area for people who wanted to get healthy and more active. Clearly I dropped the habit for a while and gladly have had this opportunity to get it going again... You could check with your local health service to see if there are organised walks, or with your local council for walks of interest in your area too.
If you would like to support me on my sponsored walk for charity, please see the details here:
Sending you One Love to you as always
P.S. We had a great raw soul food time at Yoga Ananda Centre in Reigate last weekend. There are three more raw food workshop dates available for you to check out. Find out more here
Sources and Research:
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