I have had way too many gym memberships over the years. Most of the time, those memberships were under utilised, or not used at all. My excuses, too busy, too hard or just too lazy or unmotivated. I’ve also been a swimmer, squad training and competing in club and school championships from a young age until I was 18. To me, there is nothing better than swimming at the break of dawn and being the first to dive into the stillness of the pool. On reflection, the meditative state of lap swimming supported my mental and emotional health through the teenage years. However, my preference is outdoor pools, not so much indoor pools. I do love to walk.
Walking in nature, exploring and wandering new places, is something I have always done. Active in guides and scouts in my younger years, bushwalking and camping were regular experiences. And so walking has continued throughout my life. Exploring new cities as I backpacked around the globe, meandering through parks, or walking with family and friends.
So in 2014 when life was busy and the feelings of overwhelm and chaos had crept in and escalatinging, walking became the starting point to help me turn around. I started with a daily morning walk.
Why do I love to walk? I love to walk for these reasons:
It’s an easy form of exercise, and low impact. You can walk briskly or more steady and increase distance.
Improves Mood and reduces stress
Adding movement to your day will help you improve your mood and relieve stress. Being in fresh air and nature helps reduce stress, and pumping up your endorphins to make you feel better.
Increases your energy
Feeling tired or low in energy, then getting out for a walk will help your energy levels. The simple act of movement will boost your energy and you will feel so much better.
Good for your health
Some of the health benefits include boosts your immunity, think sunshine and Vitamin D. Weight loss, lower blood pressure, and good for your joints. Lower your risk for arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and many other health issues.
Easy to track
Buy yourself a tracker or use a health app on your mobile phone, and you can easily track your daily and overall progress. Very motivating, especially if you like me and you are competitive and like a challenge.
The weather doesn’t matter. Some of the best walks I have had have been when the weather has been wild – wet and windy. But do so with safety in mine.
Variety of routes
Choose a route that is flat, hilly or picturesque. You will never be bored.
Good for you and good for others
Walking is good for you. Sometimes it’s the mental space you need to be on your own. It can also be sociable. Walking with a friend or family member is social and enjoyable, but also builds deeper connections.