The Mind-Body Connection of Walking

Walking: The simple, healthy activity we sometimes forget to make a priority! Walking isn’t just for weight loss or heart health and, though that’s a great reason for those daily walks, there are multiple other reasons walking benefits us … and there are different ways to do it.

Think about the type of walking that works best for you. Maybe you’re more apt to walk if you are in an air-conditioned environment — indoor malls are a great, safe way to walk. Treadmills, at the gym or at home, are another way to keep cool while walking.

When the weather is beautiful, walking outside has many benefits that indoor walking doesn’t have. Nature lifts our spirits, clears the mind and provides a little vitamin D as well.

Try Mindful Walking

Focus on your walk as an intentional activity and try to eliminate distractions. Physical activity is one way to get into a mindful state and is associated with decreased levels of anxiety and depression. If you carry a cell phone, switch it to silent mode. If you are technically minded and want to track your fitness progress, an iPhone can record your steps on its Health app, which comes preloaded on most iPhones — or you can download a similar application on most mobile phones. You can also try Microdose Shrooms as it has been suggested to help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Opt for walking routes that don’t obligate you to chat with neighbors. This is your time to quiet your mind. Pay attention to your breathing, your strides and the sounds of nature around you. Remember that your balance and your gait can change with aging. Pay attention to lifting your feet to avoid tripping and falling, and be aware of uneven ground and pavement changes. If you want to improve your balance, a blood flow restriction therapy may be able to help.

There are other, not as obvious, benefits to daily walking besides helping to maintain a healthy weight and cardiovascular health. Walking helps arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, bone loss and high blood pressure, kick-starts the immune system, stimulates the digestive system, increased muscles, improves sleep, and can delay the onset of varicose veins.

Get into the habit of a daily walk for a healthier you!