Any type of walking can help you have a healthy weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes and increase your aerobic conditioning. The conscious walk can also…
“Okay, it’s time for my daily walk. Here I go. Now, what do I need to buy at the store for dinner? Let’s see, the deadline for this great work project is Thursday, and I have to request tickets for the theater this weekend “. As you walk, does your mind go through an endless list of slopes or a chronicle of your worries?
There is a better strategy: it is called “conscious walk” and can turn your daily walk into a way to relax and regain energy. As you walk, you can focus your attention on every moment of the walking experience.
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Any type of walking can help you have a healthy weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes and increase your aerobic conditioning.
Conscious walking can also:
■ Help you relax. By concentrating on your walk, you allow your mind to rest from processing dozens of simultaneous thoughts.
■ Guide you to consider life with a more conscious attitude. You can learn to use this type of thought directed during the rest of the day.
Try these ideas to help turn your next walk into a new experience to improve your mood:
- Begin with a quiet moment. Before you take the first step, set the goal to take a guided walk. Give your mind a moment to slow down.
- Connect your mind and body. When walking, be aware of the movement of the weight that you transfer from the heel to the tip of the foot. Feel how the muscles in your calves and thighs work. Bend your arms and perform a gentle swinging motion. Try to achieve a fluid and consistent step, enjoy your rhythm.
- Breathe. Follow each inhalation and exhalation. Concentrating on the breath can help keep you going.
- Perceive the experience of what surrounds you. Maybe you smell the flowers, feel a soft breeze on your forehead or listen to some children playing nearby. Recognize each experience.
- Pay attention to your thoughts. If an undesirable thought sprouts in your head, recognize it and then let it float away. Do not react or judge your thinking. Just focus your attention on the movement of your body, your surroundings, and breathing.
After the walk, take a few moments to reflect. What images and sounds did you see and hear? How did your body feel? Take the determination to bring this expanded consciousness to the rest of the day – and to the morning walk.