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How To Embrace Walking

Emily Saunders Fitness

If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that I used to think leisure walking was a joke.  In my 20’s I thought that was something that old people did.  True story.  Then, I had my first baby at 30.  Between the hormones and the feeling of the walls caving in on me from being at home all the time, I gave walking a try. 
These days, going on a walk, either solo or with a friend, is one of my absolute FAVORITE things to do.  As in, I will CHOOSE to spend time with a friend this way.  I can often be seen strolling my neighborhood with a friend, child, or all by myself, with a ceramic coffee cup in my hand. 
What happened?
I quickly realized that my walks with my baby and with friends were truly life giving.
I loved being in nature and feeling the breeze and the sunshine and quickly began to feel both the mental and physical benefits.
During this time of “stay at home”, I’ve once again felt like those walls were closing in.  No one likes to feel stuck inside!  The solution:  Walks!  Lots of them!
A few benefits of walking:
1.     Hormone balancing (stress, sex, and Lowered physical, emotional and mental stress
2.     fat loss focused)
3.     Vitamin D (get outside)
4.     Better Digestion.  The rhythmic and upright movement of walking benefits digestion
5.     A plethora of health benefits ranging from blood pressure to cholesterol
6.     Energy building.  A brisk outdoor walk can be a perfect solution for your afternoon slump
7.     Idea generation.  “Mindless” activity like walking has been shown to help with problem solving, new ideas and more
And there are so many more!
A few ideas to get you started:
1.     Start slow.  10 Minutes is plenty for a pick me up.
2.     Bring Friends. I love to walk with friends or talk on the phone while I’m walking.  It’s also an easy way to spend one on one time with a child or a mini-date with your spouse
3.     Listen.  To nature or to your favorite podcast or Audible book
4.     It’s not about speed.  Go slow.  Conversational.  Easy.
5.     Look around. Enjoy nature!
6.     If using the treadmill, incorporate some rolling hills.  It’s easier on the joints.
7.     Take deep breaths.  Enjoy the rhythmic movement and match your breath to it.
8.     Set a step goal for your day.  Use your smart watch or phone to track your steps.  It can be extra motivating.

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