I personally think walking is highly underrated. For many people, the first thing that they think of when someone mentions the word ‘exercise’ is the gym. But guess what? Exercise doesn’t always mean you have to sweat your butt of in a stuffy room full of grunting men trying to lift more weight than they actually can. It doesn’t mean hours upon hours on the treadmill. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to suffer. In fact, many alternative healing methods such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encourage slow, moderate movement such as walking, yoga, and tai chi.
An easy way to do this is to walk to places instead of travelling by car. If you live in cities like London or New York, you can probably take the Tube or the subway which already involves more walking than driving. Otherwise, most places are within walkable distances. Most of the time in cities with a lot of traffic, it’s even quicker to walk than to take public transport!
Above all, taking walks can be extremely relaxing. Whether you have a dog to walk or not, just go outside and walk around after lunch or dinner. I always take myself on a walk whenever the weather’s nice out and catch up on my favourite podcasts at the same time. Not only is it a meditative experience, but it’s also a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine (if you don’t live in England that is).
If you’re looking for some extra encouragement, you can splurge out and buy a fitness tracker to keep track of your daily steps. Alternatively you can download an app which reminds you to walk more often.
Here are a few examples:
- Sweatcoin – Tracks your steps and turns them into coins for you to redeem real life gifts!
- StepsApp Pedometer – Basic step counter that does more than the Apple Health app
- Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker – Includes community support and challenges to keep you motivated
Another thing I like doing is to catch up on my favourite podcasts during long walks. Whilst I do love listening to music, it does sometime get slightly repetitive. Podcasts are amazing since they allow you to learn new things on-the-go. There are so many different podcasts out there nowadays, ranging from TedTalks to comedy and even self-improvement podcasts. Or you can even download an audio book and listen to that instead!
My go-to podcasts:
- Dear Hank and John – The Green Brothers are two of the most successful YouTubers who started way back in the day. This is great if you’re looking for something light-hearted.
- My Dad Wrote A Porno – Another great comedy podcast. Don’t let the name put you off. I guarantee you will burst out into a laughing fit in public whilst listening to this.
- Life. Unrestricted. Podcast – This has quickly become a new favourite of mine. The host, Meret Boxler, and her guests discuss body image issues, eating disorders, exercise addiction, Health at Every Size, and much more. All of these are topics that need to be spoken about so much more in this day and age.
I hope this has motivated you all to go take a walk right now, or at least later today. Make it a habit and you’ll see so many great benefits both mentally and physically.