Wonderful Walking

Wonderful Walking 960 571 Geoff

Walking. A defining human movement pattern. A foundation of our evolutionary heritage. We have and will always walk to go places and get things done.

But did you know walking can significantly improve the quality of your life right now?

Overlooked as a fitness, health or weight loss activity by a fitness industry hell bent on selling you something, walking is free to do and can be done every day in a variety of different ways.

Weight loss strategies invariably include exercise – usually higher intensity exercise that for most, is uncomfortable and even dangerous. However, punishing or pushing yourself is not always necessary to lose weight or improve your health. Often it can be counterproductive.

We do nevertheless need to move or we will suffer a long, slow and most likely painful demise. Movement is essential for every living cell in our body and every synapse in our brain.

Walking is wonderful. It gets us moving, it is generally done at a comfortable and easily controlled intensity. It enables us to connect with nature, with our bodies and our minds. It can be social or solitary. It might be the chance we have been seeking to listen to those podcasts or that music you have downloaded but not had time to enjoy.

Walking will have a positive impact on all the health markers that we are told that we need to be paying attention to – cardiovascular health, glycemic control, blood pressure, improved immune function, joint health, cognitive function – even mental health.

But these things are not the reason to go walking. These things will happen as a result of walking.

Go walking for enjoyment. For self-care. To improve the quality of your life.

We can walk mindlessly or mindfully. The choice is always yours at that moment. We might walk to solve a problem or remove ourselves from a problem – either way we have reduced stress – and stress is harming you more than you realise.

Walking ensures that our most important muscles remain engaged and active. Our gluteal (butt) muscles are our engine room of movement and posture – when we walk we counteract the effects of being seated on them and making them weak and small.

Beach travel - woman walking on sand beach leaving footprints in the sand. Closeup detail of female feet and golden sand on Kaanapali beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Walk in the morning or in the evening – which ever you prefer. To energise, rejuvenate or to relax. To enjoy the nourishment from the sun or admire the stars and the moon. Walk fast or slow.

Unlike gyms, boot camps, training sessions or even sports – there are no rules when you go walking. You can just walk. Wear whatever you want. If you use walking as your main fitness modality, vary the speed or length of your walking. Seek uneven terrain to challenge strength and balance systems. Use a hill to measure your progress – is it easier to get up than last week?

Walk barefoot on grass or in sand to absorb the earths free electrons – the health benefits of this are profound. Here in the Blue Mountains, we live in one of the best places on earth to walk. Walking trails abound and for the more adventurous – endless National Parks offer peace and a variety of unique experiences.

Who knows where walking will take you. One of our clients starting walking every day. Reluctantly at first but now doesn’t miss a day. Recently she has been “breaking into a jog” on the way home from the walk. Why?

Because the feeling of the wind in her hair makes her smile. Pretty good reason if you ask me.