We tend to think of walking as a strictly cardiovascular fitness activity—and a mediocre one at that. At best, we lose some excess weight, and at a minimum, we attempt the 10,000 daily steps that the gadget around our wrist tells us is healthy.
Walking isn’t just healthy in some trivialized manner; it’s a kind of panacea for what plagues the body and mind.
Walking wakes the heart, regulates blood pressure, improves circulation, and balances weight. It strengthens the legs, stomach, and joints. It alleviates anxiety, depression, and fatigue and elevates mood. It enhances endurance, improves posture, aids sleep, reduces the risk of chronic disease, improves memory, and allows creativity to flow.
It is adaptable and can improve overall strength, flexibility, mobility, and cardiovascular ability.
- Vary the incline to add resistance and engage different muscles.
- Vary the surfaces to improve balance and work the small muscles of the feet.
- Increase the speed to engage stamina and control.
- Mind the breath to maximize your ability to use carbon dioxide and oxygen (breath through the nose).
Walking is a union of body, mind, and world they inhabit; the motion of exploration and maturation.
“We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return, prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms.”Henry David Thoreau