Why Walk? by Stephanie Nickel
Sure, if you power walk or include short bursts of running/jogging while you’re out and about, you can increase your cardiovascular health—and that’s a very good thing.
But are there other reasons to go for a walk, even a leisurely one? Absolutely.
Here are just a few:
1. It helps clear your mind—and we can all benefit from that from time to time.
2. If you’re a pray-er, it gives you a wonderful opportunity to pray for those things that have been weighing on your heart and mind—not to mention those who live and work along your walking route.
3. If you walk with a friend or family member, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company while doing something good for you.
4. If you’re a photographer . . . If you are, I needn’t say anything more. (grin)
5. Even at a slow pace, walking keeps you moving—and that’s important for all of us. If you have a chronic physical condition, walking can often lessen the symptoms. (Check with your doctor if you have concerns—as should anyone whenever they begin or alter their level of physical activity.)
6. Walking outdoors reminds you that you’re part of a real world. This is especially important for those of us who spend countless hours in front of our computer and other electronic devices. (Warning: Do not . . . I repeat . . . do not chat on your cell, text, or surf the Net [yeah, yeah . . . I know they don’t say that much anymore] while you’re out and about. You may want to have your phone with you in case of emergencies, but checking Facebook does not count as an emergency. Take it from someone who loves social networking.
7. Walking—even around your neighbourhood—can be like a mini vacation. That’s another reason I encourage you to leave the virtual world behind when you go for a walk.
8. While there are many reasons you may be not be as active as you would like to be—busyness, illness, aging, etc.—getting out for a walk every day may encourage you to do more and will likely give you a sense of accomplishment even if it’s all you can do any given day.
9. And speaking of doing more . . . why not set achievable goals for yourself? “Today I’ll walk an extra block.” “I’ll invite my spouse to join me.” “I won’t stop at the coffee shop for a donut.”
10. If you take the time to truly look around, you may make amazing discoveries (i.e.: ideas for your garden, home improvement, writing, and yes, even picture-taking [just remember to check out the restrictions in your area on taking pictures of people or recognizable property]).
11. Slow paced walks can serve as training for more challenging physical activity.
12. When you return to work, you will be rejuvenated and ready to get back at it.
Walking can be a mini holiday. Leave the virtual world behind. (tweet this)
Check out other posts by Stephanie
12 Ways to Stay Active When You Have Company
Making it easier to Exercise and Eat Well
13 Benefits of a Fitness Challenge
Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.