Need a health boost? Get walking!
It’s not every day that one wakes up with the time or willpower to go for a gazillion km run or dive into a HIIT training routine. Although we all know the importance of exercise in order to keep our health and waistline in check, it’s not always so easy to keep active when ‘life stuff’ often gets in the way of our motivation. But exercise doesn’t necessarily mean gyms, weights, huffing or puffing. In fact, practicing weekly light exercises are just as beneficial, and super easy to fit into our routine.
Let’s get real, is there a simpler exercise out there than good old walking? Not only is it easy, accessible and free, walking brings a world of health benefits to our body and mind.
Clears your mind – and powers your brain.
There is nothing a good walk won’t help – processing thoughts, making decisions, healing. Not only does it allows you to get in touch with yourself, walking increases the blood supply to the brain improving its function and enhances your creativity process, making it easier to come up with solutions to problems. So if you’re ever feeling stuck or unclear, you know what to do!
Related activities: Try Yoga, meditating or some volunteer work.
Reduces blood pressure & fights diseases
Don’t be fooled by it, even a low impact activity like walking is capable of improving your blood circulation, reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol and even diabetes. A 30min walk a day keeps the doctor away! And it doesn’t have to be all at once, as much as you can fit, whenever. Park a little further from work, walk to your friend’s house, take the stairs… you won’t even notice.
Related activities: If you’re ready to step it up, increase your walking pace gradually onto a jog, take short sprints whenever you can, or if the weather is bad (We feel you!) try a light workout at home – We are fans of FitnessBlender, they have a vast selection of Yoga/Pilates/Low impact no-fuss videos.
Shoos depression away
When walking, our body produces endorphins – the ‘happy hormone’ which is responsible for the feeling of joy and relaxation. That makes it one of the main allies when fighting depression. Walking also brings a sense of self-reliance and power, increases your confidence in the process. The thing about endorphins is the more you have it, the more you want it – there is no better motivation that that happy feeling!
Related activities: Find a walking buddy – it can be nice to have someone to share it with. Take up local Yoga classes, groups can be supportive and motivating, it’s also a great chance to make new connections. Speaking of connections…
Reconnects you with Nature
It’s easy to forget about nature especially for those of us with busy city lives. But don’t underestimate the importance of some quiet time away from urban spaces, a walk somewhere you can appreciate a beautiful view, smell flowers or simply embrace one of nature’s wonderful escapes that are easy to oversee when immersed in the urban life. “Nature isn’t a miracle cure for diseases, but by interacting with it, spending time in it, experiencing it and appreciating it we can reap the benefits of feeling happier and healthier as a result.” Lucy McRobert, The Wildlife Trust.
Related activities: Take your dog for a walk, volunteer at an animal shelter, go camping or hiking with friends, grow your own veggies and garden. Nature is everywhere, so the possibilities are endless – you just have to walk a little!