Whether you’re stuck in an emotional rut or looking to embark on a new fitness journey, walking is one of the best things you can do.
We’ve been told for years that 30 minutes of walking a day can improve cardio fitness, reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes, heart disease etc… But, just as Kale is the superfood of the vegetable world, so too is walking the superfood of the exercise world. Here’s why:
1. Reduce the Chance of Serious Illness
Various studies over the years have proven that 30 minutes of walking a day will reduce the chances of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and hypertension. Furthermore it will reduce bodyfat and strengthen and tone your muscles and bones.
2. It’s Good for Your Brain Structure
A study by scientists at the University of Illinois proved that walking improves connectivity between brain circuits – those who walked regularly for a year showed increased cognitive ability than those who didn’t. A further study by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh shows that walking a few kilometres a week can help stave off alzheimer’s disease.
3. It’s Good for the Earth
Not that I’m anti-gyms or anything, but walking and running and open water swimming all have the same thing in common – they use nothing but you and the earth. Gyms or any indoor training facilities have an impact on our environment and world resources. Walking outdoors needs no electricity, power, building structure, transport (to and fro) and doesn’t produce chemical or technological waste.
4. Oxygen Oxygen Oxygen
Oxygen is literally our life blood, every cell in our body needs it. Without it, we simply don’t function. However, the quality of the oxygen we breathe, especially for those of us living in the city, is severely compromised. Air that doesn’t get circulated loses it’s vitality and charge (yes, oxygen has an electric charge to it, who knew?). Fresh, outdoor air is better quality which will help revitalise your whole body compared to that found within a gym.
5. Your Daily Meditation
Bringing yourself back into the moment is something that is difficult in this day and age. We are constantly multi-tasking and always tend to be aware of where our technology (phone especially) is. By leaving your phone/ipod at home and just walking with your own thoughts, you can bring yourself back to the present. You are forced to either take in the present moment, or process your day/problems. Either way, you’re giving yourself a break from multi-tasking for a little while. Furthermore, you can actively use walking to meditate. There are several techniques, many rooted in tai chi and similar practices, however I have found this one particularly helpful.
Tiny Change for the Day: Get out and walk baby!