Walking is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body active throughout a lifetime. It’s our fundamental way that we move from point A to B, but when you add other elements into your stroll, it can become so much more for the physical, mental, and emotional body.
WALK THE WALK
Studies have reported that walking has surged on an average of 2.5 – 4 hours of strides logged per week (Strava Tracking App, 2021.). This increase may have been fueled by the pandemic factors, but for whatever reason, the statistics show people are getting out and walking more!
If you are one who thinks that sweaty, hard-core workouts that leave you sore the next day are the only way to achieve a good cardio session, think again. It’s not about killing yourself or your body. It’s more about moving your body daily to keep your entire body strong for life.
SAFETY & SCENE
Getting outside to take a walk seems pretty simple for most of us, however, there are many things to consider depending on where you live, what season you’re in, and the ease of a safe path to blaze. Therefore, not everyone has access to safe sidewalks, parks, or dirt trails, which can make a walk less accessible to some than others.
Try to find a path in your neighborhood or local area that would motivate you to walk it regularly. Within miles of most areas, there’s local parks, a school track, or possibly a trail that you could make your regular loop.
One last thing to consider before you hit the trails is your attire. Depending on the time of day you take your stroll, you may want to consider wearing reflective gear so you can easily be spotted in your tracks. Wearing the right sneakers is also important to keep your feet comfortable and your legs free from injury. So, gear up and hit those paths in style!
GREAT WALKING BENEFITS
Whether walking is a time for cardiovascular training, socializing or an emotional regulation, there are many rewarding benefits that can trigger you to lace up and get outside.
1. Active recovery – Walking allows your body to recover faster from more intense workouts by circulating the blood circulate to heal sore muscles.
2. Catch up & socialize – Spend time walking and talking with a friend either in person or on the phone. The time flies by while you get a chance to chat with a friend, breathe fresh air, and work on your fitness.
3. Boosts your mental health – physical activity can help shift your mindset by clearing unwanted thoughts, anxiety, or depression. Movement connects the body with the mind and can help improve mental health.
4. Connect with nature – Being in nature helps ground and connect your body to earth. Before you start your stroll, focus on an intension that will center your mind.
5. Walking works for all – Whether you’re an infant being pushed in a stroller, a teenager taking a hike in the hills, or a mature adult strolling through the neighborhood, ALL ages can benefit from walking, and it will never go out of style!
6. Pick up the pace – Turn your walks into a cardio strength interval workout by performing cardio drills, bodyweight strength exercises, or use nature as your fitness equipment.
The benefits of walking can be truly fulfilling for your body and mind. I hope you are inspired to lace up and get outside for a well-deserved breath of fresh air!
ELEVATE YOUR TRAIL BLAZING
To elaborate on #6’s benefit, I want to leave you with a few ideas of how to “pick up the pace” by incorporating extra movements that challenge your cardiovascular system along the way.
• Power Strides (increase pace & pump arms)
• Jog or Sprint Bursts
• Side Shuffles
• Walking Lunges
*Be sure to check out the video to see how these exercises are performed so you can step up your walking game!