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  • Stacie Rose

Six Reasons Why Walking is One of the Greatest Wellness Wonders By As Seen in BC the Mag

 



Ever notice how someone comes across when they walk into a room with confidence and purpose? Walking is one of the most natural, primitive, and essential hallmarks of being human. The way in which a person uses this innate physical capability can set a tone and make a memorable statement. 

 

When a bride walks down the aisle, it's a slow, show-stopping movement that commands the room and evokes emotion. When a politician or speaker makes their way to the podium, deliberateness commands attention. When you see someone walking rapidly and intensely you can guess that time is of the essence. Some people walk alongside family members, colleagues, or friends, while others are always one step ahead, leaving you in the dust.

 

Walking is one of the most vital and fundamental aspects of any wellness plan focused on mind, body, and soul. It is physical and spiritual and helps us connect to our breath, which can instantly improve our wellbeing. The wonders of walking are widely celebrated because of the holistically beneficial rewards. Staying active, agile, fit, and flexible are tip of the iceberg advantages to this marvelous low-impact life sport. When cultivating sustainable wellness, walking takes the cake as a low-impact, highly gratifying gift we can give ourselves daily. It's good in the short term, for the long haul and will always have the potential to take you exactly where you want to go in life! 

 

Walking is man’s best medicine.—Hippocrates

 

 1. IT’S BACKED BY SCIENCE 

 

Growing evidence suggests that walking positively impacts fitness, blood pressure, and helps stave off many types of illness. According to the American Heart Association, abundant statistics show that walking improves heart and brain health and helps with longevity. Walking can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, help decrease body weight, help manage blood sugar levels and act as a salve for chronic stress and mood regulation. 

 

According to The Mayo Clinic a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. Additional benefits include managing conditions such as stroke and type 2 diabetes. Walking can help strengthen, muscles, improve endurance, boost energy, and improve mood, memory, cognition, and sleep. Walking can help support your immune system and reduce tension. The Mayo Clinic also asserts that the faster, farther, and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. It's hard to deny the exhilaration experienced during a swift walk, especially after dining. 

 

According to Medical News Today, walking for at least twenty minutes after a meal can assist digestion. Walking may also help people with IBS by increasing the diversity of the bacterial flora in the gut. It’s a helpful tool for people who struggle with anxiety, ADHD, and depression. It's essential for kids, adults, and people of all ages and helps us stay physically and mentally flexible. 

 

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.

-Thomas Jefferson

 

2. IT'S MEDITATIVE AND HEALING 

 

Ever feel overwhelmed-- like you can't think straight and need some time, space, and distance to sort things out? Maybe there are times when you feel stuck. Putting one foot in front of the other can be the key to reclaiming your composure and sense of calm. "That walk I just took in the fresh air and warm sunshine was a terrible idea" said no one, ever! A spontaneous or planned walk has mysterious ways of creating an immersive, meditative experience that can soothe your senses. Minimal planning is needed unless you are venturing into woodsy or rough terrain. There are no expectations, and you can walk in rain, shine, or beneath a blue sky, allowing the healing sounds, sights, and vibrations to uplift your disposition. Drink in the solitude or immerse yourself in a crowd. The choice is yours. Set the rhythm, the pace and stay open minded, for a walk can do wonders.   

 

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. --Henry David Thoreau

 

3. IT PROMOTES PRESENCE 

 

Walking can provide a feast for your senses. While strolling, you might notice flowers blooming, snow falling, and dogs communing. You might strike up a conversation with a neighbor, a mail carrier, or wave and smile at another human being. If you're not feeling particularly social, remember there's no shame in embracing with your inner recluse. You could use the time to notice the sensations in your body and connect with your breath or attune yourself to your inner thoughts. Walking presents a unique opportunity to be here now and get out of your own way. When walking, some of the most honest, open, loving, and intimate talks may occur between you and your child, your partner, or friends because nobody is preoccupied, scrolling on their phones or busy doing something else. This deeply profound presence creates unique opportunities for connection.

 

People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.--Thich Nhat Hanh

 

4. IT'S A PATH TO WELLBEING 

 

There are infinite ways to take a walk. Whether you powerwalk for the sake of solid on speed walk through a city, take your dog for a spin, opt for stairs, wander through a mall, walk off anger, tears, frustration, or an overindulgent meal, you're reaping the rewards one way or another. Walking is good for focus, freeing your mind of worry and the thoughts that may be weighing you down. It boosts creativity and productivity. Whether rocking out to music in your headphones, attentively taking in a podcast, or catching up on sports and news, walking provides endless ways to carve out time to enjoy life, stay energized and prioritize your health. 

 

I am so happy that I am alive and can walk.-- Etta James

 

 

5. IT'S FOR ALL AGES AND STAGES 

 

Naturally, we must walk before we run. Walking teaches us many things. The more we walk the more we learn about ourselves. Being at different stages in life means taking note of goals, needs, challenges, and personal health. Walking is the first true form of freedom we experience. It's a key to staying fit and cultivating a sustainable sense of vitality. Motion is lotion, especially for older people motivated to remain active and healthy into their golden years. Doctor Andrew Weil has referred to long, scenic, convivial walks as one of life's great pleasures. Joy and exploration can be magnificent motivations for walking. 

 

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao Tzu

 

 

6. IT'S A WAY FORWARD 

 

When life gets hard, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other is a powerful metaphor. It's an intentional choice we can make any day of the week, month, or year. Walking is deeply therapeutic, especially when we get outside and bathe in the sun's luminous rays. The shot of vitamin D derived from the star that NASA sites as the heart of our solar system is healing and essential to our wellbeing. The act of moving forward helps us free ourselves from obstacles, enabling us to push through life's more challenging moments and to gain the perspective we need. We can regroup and recalibrate at any moment and walk the walk that is most authentically true to our hearts.

 

I learned to walk as a baby, and I haven't had a lesson since--. Marilyn Monroe

 

 

WALK THIS WAY 

 

You may have heard the acronym FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type) used to describe the principles of exercise, in this case, walking. Some studies have found that ten thousand steps a day is the sweet spot. Other experts say fifteen or twenty minutes a day. You've heard about taking the stairs more often, clocking your steps with a smartwatch. But these specific directives and opinions might not be appropriate for everyone. You should consult your physicians, specialists, and physical therapists, consider injuries, medical history and always listen to your body. Staying hydrated must always be considered to avoid cramping and of course, there's the matter of sensible shoes.

 

Walking can be a powerful and ponderous event simultaneously. It's free; it's convenient and practical. But as we move through the world, staying buoyant and light on our feet, we must remember that it's the journey, not the destination, that matters most. The way we walk through the world matters. Our footprints matter. Whether walking to the bus, our car, for a cause or strutting down a crowded hallway--intention matters.

 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Will we walk with integrity and care for humankind? Will we walk through the world with gratitude? Each day we must choose how we will move. Will we walk gently, with conviction, with purpose? Will we walk, talk and chew gum at the same time, simply focusing on getting where we're going, arriving there faster or first? Will we walk into the thick of things day after day only to be consumed and swallowed whole, or will we move  with heart, soul and a love that radiates? The world can be tricky sometimes, and being a person isn't always easy. When the going gets tough and when nothing makes sense (and even when things are nearly perfect) you might remind yourself to “go take a walk.” You probably won't regret it. 

 

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