If you could do one thing that would improve your overall physical and mental health, increase your energy, had almost no side effects and was free would you do it? Unfortunately for most of us the answer has been no.
It’s May in Indianapolis – time not just to start those engines but time to start our feet. Walking on a regular basis is possibly the simplest, cheapest and easiest thing we can do to improve our health and the quality of our lives. Walking as little as 15 to 30 minutes 5 times a week has major benefits. The question becomes, do you value yourself enough to take care of you?
Walking has positive effects on our physical health, reducing or eliminating the effects of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. According to Chris Crowley, author of the popular book series Younger Next Year, 70% of diseases could be eliminated or controlled if we just took better care of ourselves. Yet, what I’m most intrigued by are the positive effects that walking has on how we feel.
Walking is Good Medicine
- Walking decreases anxiety, depression and stress
- Walking increases self-confidence and helps us to feel better about ourselves
- Walking is an excellent way to shift out of a negative mood
- Walking improves focus and brain functioning
- Walking increases the quality of sleep and helps improve memory
- Walking each day reduces chances of developing Alzheimer’s
- A 30-minute brisk walk can improve our mood for up to 12 hours
Feeling stuck? Just move. One of the most reliable ways of getting unstuck is to move. Physically moving gets us out of our heads and into our bodies. Moving allows us to see the world from a different point of view.
So if walking is such a miracle cure-all what is our excuse not to walk?
- Not enough time
- Too out of shape
- Don’t want to
- Don’t like exercise
- It takes too much effort
- Why bother? It won’t make any difference
Getting sick takes lots of time, money and energy and is at the very least inconvenient. Feeling depressed or anxious or stressed is not a fun way to live. Walking can make a difference. Most of us have much more control over the quality of our health both physically and mentally than we realize. If you have concerns about starting walking or have been leading a sedentary life, please see your doctor first.
Start Your Feet, Five Ways To Begin:
- Start small. Walk five minutes or even two, several times a week. Make walking a habit just like brushing your teeth.
- Walk with a friend or family member. Enjoy the conversation, company and support.
- Wear a pedometer: 10,000 steps a day is the magic number to aim for.
- Need to start smaller? Walk to the mailbox and back. Walk in place during commercials.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Simply walking on a regular basis can greatly increase the quality of our lives. I don’t just want to be alive, I want to live life fully and be as healthy both mentally and physically for as long as I can. Living healthy into our 80’s and beyond is no longer unrealistic. Try it. See if walking makes a difference in your life.
Amelia Barnes, MBA MA LMHC coaches Boomers to have clarity and confidence in who they are, what they want and the courage to make it happen. Contact Amelia at 317.688.7278 or Amelia@InnerOutcomes.com for a complimentary coaching session.