The wonder (and benefits to body and mind) of walking
I am the owner of an energetic Springer called Spigget.
I’m also a complete softy and a sucker for what is affectionately known in our family as “spaniel face”, deep brown eyes staring intently, saying “pleeeeease take me out to sniff and chase things”.
All this means that walking is not obligatory as such, but an expected part of my daily routine.
The benefits of walking to me are therefore numerous:
- A blast of fresh air first thing in the morning is better than any caffeine pick me up.
- 20 mins to myself helps to get my head straight (Spigget doesn’t ask difficult questions at 7am).
- I can’t avoid hills where I live and walking uphill is one of the best ways to work your leg muscles and particularly your gluts (insert link to info on gluts). Once I’ve got myself up the hill, the flat sections are a doddle so I can pick up the pace and get my respiratory system working.
- Walking is rhythmical. Our bodies like rhythms and repetitive, recognisable patterns. For muscle strengthening you’ve got to vary it up a bit and ‘surprise’ your body but the hills take care of that. On a longer walk I can get into and enjoy the rhythm. This is when my conscious mind can take a rest and let my subconscious come up with all sorts of interesting thoughts and ideas. The number of times I’ve been battling with a problem, I go out for a walk and the answer will come. Physiotherapists Jo B, Ray and Chris are all very fired up about rhythmical walking at the moment and Karla, our hypnotherapist will tell you all about the wonders of your subconscious.
- I get to see the seasons. At the moment our local countryside is a gentle patchwork of Autumn colours but there is always something special to see, mist hanging in the valley, a beautiful sunset or maybe just a spider’s web catching the light.
So in fact, I’m extremely grateful to old spaniel face, he is my ticket to a daily dose of respiratory training, muscle strengthening and mind expanding exercises.
Feeling the benefits of walking for yourself
Don’t have a Spigget? Hook up with a friend – yes, its harder to persuade yourself to get out when the weather’s dull or wet but you’ll encourage each other. Can’t manage a long walk or a hilly walk? Doesn’t matter at all, do what you can cope with, many of the benefits I’ve listed can be gained in a 10 minute outing. You want always feel like it, but you’ll always find something that makes you glad you got outside and walked.
Further Help and Advice
Looking for practical help to keep your mind and body active and healthy, keep an eye out for future blog posts from the team at Courtyard Clinic.
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