Take a walk and explore all this world has to offer
Did you know that walking is a great low impact workout, especially in these times we are living in where the gyms are closed and we are in our houses much more than normal. There are so many great benefits to walking but here are a few that I hope will cause you to close your laptop or shut down your phone and take a walk.
It can help improve your mood: I think this is the most important, especially in today’s world. A lot of us are stressed and scared about the situation we are in, and without a lot of our regular outlets to get rid of stress, it can be hard to reduce anxiety about all that’s happening in our lives. But even just taking a short walk for 10-15 minutes can help to reduce stress and release some endorphins which in turn can make us feel better. I tend to take walks when I start to feel anxiety creeping in. This helps me to get away and clear my mind.
It lets you explore: Walking can help you to see all that the area you live in has to offer. I recently discovered a nice park near my house with a beautiful pond and some nice trails that I never even knew was there. There is so much beauty around us but many times we bypass it because we are rushing to work or late to an event. But walking can help you to slow down and see all that is around you, and maybe next time you are out walking you will notice something that you’ve never seen before.
It has MANY health benefits: Just to name a few. Walking can help to ward off heart disease, it can help to reduce the risk of some cancers and helps to keep your lungs healthy. It also is a natural antidepressant and can help our brain to think more clearly. If those reasons don’t automatically make you jump off the couch and get out the door for walk, there are plenty more. But as you can see walking is good for our whole body and because its low impact, it doesn’t stress out our muscles like other high intensity exercises would.
It’s really good for our brains: As I mentioned above, walking can help our brains to think more clearly and creatively. Walking can help to release more blood to the brain, which can help to clear that brain fog we sometimes get when we are stressed or have been staring at a screen for too long. When I was in college I used to take walks when I got stuck writing a paper. Just getting outside and moving helped to get myself together and think of things that I needed to write for the paper. So the next time you need to clear your head, try getting out for a walk and see if that helps you to solve problems and think more clearly.
You can make it fun: Some people don’t like walking because they find it boring. But there is so much stuff you can actually do while walking that can make it more enjoyable. If you can walk where there are no cars, then listening to music or podcasts can make a walk a little more fun. Put together a playlist of songs that make you feel happy or good inside and just walk. You can also call friends or family and walk and talk at the same time. Then you get a little movement while also catching up with others. You can also add in some burst of speed either breaking into a power walk or run to raise your heart rate a little and break up the walk.
You can do it with others: Last but not least, walking is a great way to connect with others. In our world today you may need to wear a mask and stay six feet apart, but its still a great way to “hang out” and catch up with friends and family, while also getting some good heart health exercise in there as well.
I hope that these benefits of walking have caused you to lace up your sneakers, grab your sunglasses and head out the door for a nice healthy walk. And even if it hasn’t just keep yourself moving, these are tough times we are in and keeping ourselves healthy is our #1 priority at the moment. Happy Walking!!!
Diana currently works a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Middletown, NY. She also is a certified running coach and recently took a job as a Track and Field coach at Burke Catholic in Goshen NY. She enjoys teaching strength and conditioning classes, as well as HIIT and Tabata classes. She has competed in races ranging from 5k’s to even a marathon. She will hopefully be running The Philadelphia Marathon in the fall in hopes of qualifying for Boston. In her down time she loves to spend time taking yoga classes, walking and crafting.