I usually try to get out daily for a walk, weather permitting as I feel it is one of the most therapeutic forms of exercise you can do. Not only is it easy to do but there is no need for any expensive workout equipment or gym memberships – all that is required is a good pair of walking shoes.
Studies have indicated that walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, helps ease arthritis pain and reduce levels of stress and anxiety. I find that it especially helps relive depression in the darker, winter months when many people are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Walking can also help prevent osteoporosis – a common disease that causes bone loss, leading to skeletal fractures, height loss and pain. The key to preventing the disease is to get enough vitamin D and calcium – and the most natural way to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight several times a week (you will also need to make sure you receive the recommended level of calcium as well).
In addition to the physical benefits of walking, I have found that it can help your creativity. I get some of my best ideas and inspiration while I’m out taking a walk. Most of the time, our mind is so cluttered with what it next on our to-do list, that we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to generate ideas and and to just simply contemplate. As we walk in sunlight and fresh air, the mind tends to clear and often inspiration is right around the corner. In fact, Julia Cameron, the author of The Artists Way, has incorporated a 20 minute walk, several times a day into her creativity program. You just might be surprised by what pops into your head while you’re out taking a stroll.
Below are just a few benefits of walking:
- Reduced risk of heart attack
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Reduced risk high blood pressure
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Helps prevent obesity
- Increased level of fitness
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increase levels of creativity and inspiration
- Improved quality of life
- Increased levels of clarity
- More appreciation for our natural world
- Increased feeling of connection to the natural world
- Increased longevity
- Better levels of sleep at night
- Continued mobility as we age
- Reduced traffic congestion
Walking just 30 minutes a day can improved your overall outlook and the quality of your life. And by keeping yourself in good health, you increase your chances of remaining independent and mobile as you age.