Walking is the essential human movement. We walk for EVERYTHING. When we go spend a day in the city, or go for a long hike, or just to go shopping in the supermarket even, we are walking.
The power in walking comes from MOVEMENT. When we move our circulation increases, oxygen gets distributed throughout the body, we enter a rhythmic and meditative state naturally through walking.
All meditation does not need to be sitting in a dark room with your eyes shut, the same effect can be achieved through unison with the body in a manner such as walking.
I would invite you to consider the following benefits of walking and make an effort to walk EVERY DAY.
1. Walking increases circulation – many modern diseases at least partly can be attributed to lack of proper blood flow and circulation. This is largely due to the fact that a sedentary lifestyle has become commonplace. We drive to work (Sitting), we work all day at a computer (sitting with poor posture), we drive home (Sitting), and then we sit in front of the TV (sitting). Walking is the best way I know of to counter much of the time we spend sitting when our circulation and oxygenation is very poor due to lack of movement.
2. Walking improves posture. Much like the benefits of increased circulation, the human body functions best with constant movement throughout the day. We are meant to walk, step, lunge, squat, and climb things on a daily basis. By spending more time in the upright posture (Standing) which is the reason human intelligence has grown to the immense level it has now, because we see the world from many different angles and movement varieties, we improve our posture and thus our body images.
3. Walking provides all the benefits of a weight bearing exercise. (NOTE: When I refer to walking in this article I am referring to walking outside not on a treadmill, although a treadmill is still better than not walking at all.) Walking requires you to hold up your body against gravity, thus increasing bone density, muscle tone, and helping to shed excess weight. Spending an hour walking each and every day is very beneficial for those looking to burn fat.
4. Walking connects you to nature by providing fresh air, sunshine, and a relaxing effect on the mind and body. The human body thrives off of adversity and the beauty of nature, when we become disconnected from all hardships in the form of vigorous hikes, climbing mountains, the rain and cold and hot weather, we become weak and depressed. The nature that one can only achieve but by their own two feet acts as a natural medicine for the human soul.
These are just a HANDFUL of the reasons I love to walk. So here is how I structure my daily walk.
First I wake up and have a shake and drink some water and do a few basic and easy stretches, mostly around my hips.
Then I go for my walk, I typically try to walk anywhere from 45minutes -1 hour during my work days. On days off I much prefer hiking, when I hike it could be anywhere from an easy 1.5 hour hike, to an eight-mile 5 hour trek!
The bare minimum you want to walk for amazing results and increased body strength is 45 minutes – 1 hour per day. Or about 2.5-3.5 miles. I find that this amount is the perfect length to get the blood flowing and the body heated just right.
This is not by any means to much movement, remember the human body is meant to be moving like this ALL DAY in many cases. And if you look at examples of people who hike a ton or athletes, we clearly can move more than we are at this point in time.
Remember, the more you MOVE and WALK, the greater your body awareness and even your mental intelligence becomes. The mind and body are connected and we must honor the desire for our body to spend time moving.
So get to walking this season!
Talk to you soon.