“The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.” Said Charles Dickens, famous author, and believer in the benefits of walking.
So, how can walking affect our wellbeing and overall health? Can this simple exercise really help mind, body and spirit?
Most of us understand that walking can help our bodies physically. It’s a great low-impact activity that engages our muscles and can help keep up our energy levels. Overtime this can lead to increased stamina and resilience, but did you also know that by walking regularly you can lower your risk of major illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Research has also found that the walkers amongst us tend to experience healthy ageing, which means they have better overall health in their later years.
If that wasn’t enough, there are beneficial effects on our mind and emotions as well. Endorphins can be released which are our brain’s natural mood boosters, as well as a mindfulness as we take in our surroundings and notice sounds, smells and different physical sensations, like the wind in our face, or the sun on our skin.
“Walking has taught me that there is nothing quite so therapeutic as a journey on foot. It has a way of clearing your mind, of stripping away the unnecessary and focusing on what truly matters. Walking has become my sanctuary, my refuge, my place of healing and transformation.”
In her book, the Salt Path, Raynor Winn writes about her and her husband’s walk on the South West Coast Path. In this incredible book, she writes about the transformation in their health and how it makes their moods lighter and brighter.
Can a walk also help with workplace wellbeing?
Short answer, yes! Regular walking will help your circulation, which in turn can increase the oxygen supply to the brain, helping you to perform and focus better. You might just find that you are more productive after a break in the fresh air. Problem-solving can also increase as creativity is boosted by a mindful walk or just by simply giving yourself some headspace to think about things.
In a workplace setting, grabbing your colleagues for a lunchtime stroll can also help with social interaction, with opportunities for a supportive chat that can help you clear your mind and increase a sense of being part of a team.
Here at huunuu we always encourage one another to take a lunchtime walk, no matter how brief. We set each other mini challenges, such as ‘take a picture of something orange.’ This helps to give our walk a fun sense of purpose that helps to clear our minds for the afternoon’s activities.
Any physical activity can help you to sleep better and for longer. As we mull over life on our walk our minds have the chance to process information that otherwise may end up being thought about in the early hours! Our bodies will also have expended more energy resulting in a need to rest and rejuvenate. This will help us to approach each new day with renewed energy.
What other benefits are there to a regular walk and how can this help my work?
Two great benefits to a regular walk can be confidence and a sense of achievement which are fantastic morale boosters.
If you are new to walking, setting yourself a small and achievable goal such as walking for ten minutes can help you to feel a sense of accomplishment. With each step, you can tell yourself that you are supporting your mind, body and soul to better health, which is a pretty good motivator.
This transferable skill can then be used in your workplace, by helping you create goals and maintain focus.
By feeling more confident in yourself, you will find that decision making improves and you feel better in yourself which can lead to satisfaction at work and at home.
At huunuu we walk the talk (excuse the pun!) and take our wellbeing as seriously as we take yours. For more information about our wellbeing training visit huunuu.com or email us at: [email protected]
I don’t know about you, but after writing this, I’m popping my trainers on and off for a stroll!