What could a stroll do for you? More than a simple, and generally gentle, cardio vascular exercise there are many advocates of a good walk. And tonnes of reasons to start including a walk into your daily routine. In this post we take a look at the power of a walk, and there’s a LOT of power to a walk.
‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was famously inspired by his regular walks, they fired up his creative juices. He’s not the only writer who found inspiration in the power of a walk – Frederick Nietzsche believed walking was essential to his writing process. A creature of habit, he would walk daily for 2 hours at 11am with his notebook in hand.
It’s not just writers who used the power of a walk though. Beethoven would take walks lasting 4 or more hours! Again, he was another person who would keep hold of his notebook when walking to help him with his creative process.
Other significant advocates of the power of walking would use walking as part of their problem-solving routines. Steve Jobs is known to have regularly held walking work meetings. A regular sight around Palo Alto, Jobs encouraged these walking meetings to keep team members focused and productive. He believed it led to free-flowing ideas, and it certainly had some impact given the fact that he drove the company to becoming one of the largest and most successful in the world.
So what is the actual power of a walk?
The biggest physical superpower of the walk is that it exercises the cardio and pulmonary systems – the heart and lungs. These are obviously key to life! By getting this form of exercise it reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Walking can also help with the control of a variety of other conditions. Things like diabetes, high blood pressure and joint/muscular pain can all be kept under control. And at the same time, it helps to strengthen bones.
So many of the people mentioned earlier used walking because of the mental benefits. In fact, it has been shown that it takes as little as 10 minute walking to supercharge your alertness, positivity and energy levels. A 2018 study indicated that regular walkers also have a lower risk of depression!
A subtle side-effect of walking is that it actually causes the brain to ‘wake-up’. This is an evolutionary throwback to the fact that the primary purpose of the brain was linked to motor function. The brain evolved as creations moved to active movement. There are so may processes subtly tied into the brain when it comes to walking – for instance the fact that your brain is constantly making spatial assessments as you walk, calculating changes in terrain physical location of the environment in relation to your body. This is why walking literally brings the brain to life!
Walking is even linked to an increase in ‘Theta-wave’ activity in the brain. This form of brain activity is tied closely into learning and memory!
Walking is a POWERFUL tool. It engages the brain and brings life to your thinking. It gives your mental space to marshal your thoughts while giving you the mental power to complete tasks. A walk of just 10 minutes is enough to boost your thinking and your creative ideas.
And at the same time, walking is simply good for you. The power of a walk is huge on your physical wellbeing – that in turn has a positive effect upon your mental health too. A regular walk will keep you physically and mentally healthy. Nourishing molecules in the brain are also released through more demanding exercise too, so walking helps to feed your brain.
- Aim to get a walk in every single day.
- You don’t need to go for miles and miles.
- A good time to walk is early in the morning as it will also help to wake you up properly too.
- You can take a notebook OR have a notebook ready at the door for when you get back so you can make a note of any ideas or key thoughts you have.
- Set up a playlist for when you’re walking alone but also occasionally take the opportunity to listen to the world around you.
- Get a walking buddy or two! Even a furry friend helps. Someone to chat with on your walks.
‘Only thoughts reached by walking have value’Frederick Nietzsche
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