National Walking Month
May is National Walking Month, which encourages us all to continue to venture outdoors and stretch our legs come rain or shine. Walking comes with an abundance of benefits for our wellbeing; it may help to increase our overall fitness levels, offer a release from stress, improve mental clarity and focus, develop our balance, and may even benefit our heart and lung health. In this blog, we take a look at the different ways you can enjoy, or even switch up, your daily walk.
Go on a mindful walk
Walking, as well as being great for your fitness, can also benefit your mind, too. First, find somewhere to walk where you feel most connected to yourself and nature, such as your local park or nature reserve. Start by walking at a natural pace and clear your mind – it may help to count your steps or practice equal breathing, so breathe in for two counts, hold for two, exhale for two.
With each step, focus on how it feels when your foot makes contact with the ground. What are the movements in your legs? Do you sway from side to side slightly when you walk? What are your arm movements like? Notice the feeling of the air against your skin. It’s completely natural for your mind to wander, especially as many of us have never-ending ‘to do lists’, but whenever this does happen, just try to bring your awareness back to your body and breath.
Now start to shift your focus to your surroundings. Focus on what you can see, smell, and hear. Do this in stages, starting with your sight. What colours do you notice? Then move on to your other senses.
To end your mindful walk, bring your focus back to the sensation of walking once again, until you are ready to stand still. Take this moment to express gratitude; maybe you’re grateful for spending some time in nature, or having a moment to de-stress, or maybe you noticed something special on your walk.
Power-walk your way to better fitness
Step it up and burn a few extra calories while you’re at it! If you want to improve your power walking ability, make sure to read our blog with some useful top tips put together by our Health and Fitness expert at Ragdale, here.
There are a few steps to master, but once you’re in your stride, there will be no stopping you!
Make it fun: go on a scavenger hunt
To get the family to go on a walk, you could add in a fun, creative activity such as a scavenger hunt to make it more interesting. As you aren’t focused solely on walking, you may be surprised at how many steps you can do just simply looking for things!
Catch up outside
With many of us still working from home, we might find it more difficult to get our daily steps in. But why not do your work on the go? For your next Zoom meeting, hook up your headphones and get walking! Or if your friend is calling for a catch up, reconnect whilst on the go.