Spring has sprung. Now is a great time of the year
to get those walking shoes on and explore nature. The benefits of
walking on your health are huge! Some of these include:
- Insulin works better, so blood glucose levels will lower
- Leg muscles will grow stronger and leaner (which is great for
- Your heart and lungs become more efficient
- The brain will create new memory pathways
- Your mood will become calmer while feeling invigorated
Walking has become not only an activity for the body, but also
for the mind. Mindfulness is getting increased attention in
scientific research for its therapeutic benefits including
improvements in depression, anxiety, stress and quality of life.
Put walking and mindfulness together, and you get a powerhouse of
So what is walking mindfully?
Many people think meditation requires you to sit still and
quieten your thoughts, focusing on your breathing. However there
are many ways you can meditate, and you may be doing it without
realising. You could play an instrument, craft, sing or
surf. Anything that takes your mind to that activity,
and only that activity, is a form of meditation. To clear
your mind from constant thoughts, even just briefly, can be
powerful in improving mental health and increasing positive
Walking meditation or 'walking mindfully' is a great alternative
if you are thinking about improving your physical and mental
health. It brings the body and mind in sync, rather than on
auto-pilot. Each time we switch to autopilot, our mind moves away
from the present moment and therefore we lose awareness. Just think
about how much of your day is done in auto-pilot!
Walking mediation means mindfully walking using meditative
technique, eyes wide open, at a pace that suits you, with your
attention on whichever environment you find yourself in. It
requires you to observe, tune in, listen to sounds, note smells,
sensations and focus on your rhythm with the soles of your feet
touching the ground. It's amazing how you feel when you bring
awareness to your environment rather than being lost in your
For more information on this topic, check out headspace.
There are free guided walking meditations to get you started on your
If you would like to speak with a psychologist for
further advice on improving your mental health, please call 1300
136 588 and book in for a free phone consultation.