In the last post, you became aware that walking meditation is a style to try if you have difficulty with sitting meditation. I hope you took the challenge at the end of that post to practise to see if it Is a style that could work for you. Walking has many benefits, not just to your physical health, but it can I help improve your mental, social, community , environmental and financial wellbeing as well.
However, If you find exercise time consuming, walking is a great way to incorporate fitness into your day. As you walk every day, you are already aware that it is the most accessible form of physical activity you can find. It is safe, cheap and has the lowest dropout rate because no matter what you do, you will find yourself participating in some from of walking.
While the below is not an exhaustive list, it gives you an idea of how much walking does influence your whole wellbeing.
Walking for your Physical Health
One in three Australians is obese, making us one of the world’s fattest nations. Walking is a proven kickstart to weight loss as a brisk walk of 30 minutes can burn up 150-200 calories (depending on your metabolism).So, instead of paying out on a gym membership you may or may not use, walking can act as a free replacement as it strengthens and shapes your quads,, gluteus, calves and hamstrings to keep you looking fit and healthy.
Walking has also been shown to improve your heart health by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, reducing risk of strokes and type two diabetes. There is even evidence that walking can reduce your risk of cancer by 45% compared to those who are less active.
Walking for you emotional health
Getting out and about in the open air helps stimulate oxygen to your brain boosting your energy levels. You feel more awake and alert while improving your circulation, pumping blood through your body to allow your brain to focus. When the brain is oxygenated, it helps bring clarity to your thoughts and relaxes you to relieve tense and anxious moments.
Social and community health
Human interaction is essential for your wellbeing as you develop greater social skills and the ability to communicate with people with similar interests. Studies show that when you combine walking with social interaction, you increase your life span by 50% than those who don’t. If you live in the city, check with your local council on short walks you can do during your lunch break, early morning or in the evening.
Walking for your environmental health
Leaving the car at home and utilising the power of walking can significantly reduce your footprint on the planet. Did you know that the average vehicle carrying a single occupant, uses approximately 300 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre? If you can, and you live within one or two kilometres of your destination, consider taking a walk instead of getting out the car.
Walking for your financial health
As you know, the running costs of a vehicle can increase exponentially if you drive every day. If you live within one kilometre, or two, of whee you live consider leaving the car behind and walk. You will find that even over the period of a week you will save from not having to fill up on petrol or pay high parking fees. Your budget will thank you.
Your challenge this week
Choose one area of your wellbeing from the above you would like to improve through walking. One that you will be able to achieve and is practical for your lifestyle. Let me know how you go and if you found any challenges or enlightened moments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.