The Benefits of taking a walk
Any kind of exercise is good for physical and mental health but we can all take the first steps to fitness through a daily walk. It doesn’t have to be a marathon just start with a stroll. Just getting out of the house and getting some fresh air works wonders. Whether you live in a built-up area or in the countryside there are always walks on your doorstep.
Don’t look on walking as a chore but as a pleasure. Don’t rush out and plod round in a resentful cloud but stroll out and take notice of your surroundings. Only venture out as far as you feel comfortable and happy with and perhaps increase this distance as you gain confidence and enjoyment. You don’t need any special equipment or kit just a pair of flat shoes and perhaps a hat and coat for colder days. Look on your time out as relaxation time or ‘my time’ to escape from housework or stresses.
There are many things to interest you as you walk. If you are in town then looking at other peoples gardens can lift your spirits and give you ideas for your own. It can also be an eye-opener to realise just how much nature there is to be found in built-up areas. Birds in trees, butterflies and urban foxes are just a few of the creatures you may see as you stroll. Take a look at other people’s front doors. What colour are they, what kind of people could like behind them, do they appear to take care of their home? You can tell so much about the people who live in the house from the way it looks on the outside. Give passers by a little smile – you may be surprised how, by cheering others, you feel cheered too.
If you feel that you are physically unfit and that a walk would be beyond you then please think again. Taking a gentle walk is within your capabilities. You can start simply by walking down your garden and back – take a look at the flowers, lawn or vegetables as you go and try to enjoy the experience. Once you have tried this and feel comfortable with it try doing it twice or even three times gradually building your strength and confidence. Very soon you will feel that a little stroll down the road is possible and would be equally enjoyable.
It is also important to try to builds a routine into your walking – you may have one time of day that is the most convenient so use that time. You may not have enough time to walk every day but try to do it two or three times a week and stick to a plan. Routine in our days helps to put some structure into our lives.
A physically fit body goes a long way to build a fit mind and helps so much with confidence building too. Get those flat shoes on and give it a go – nothing to lose and so much to gain.
See our Challenge Liz article where a member of our team takes on the challenge of walking to get body and mind fit.