Mindful walking is an excellent practice with many potential benefits that can improve your mental and physical health. In an increasingly demanding world, taking the time to care about your mental well-being is very important; mindful walking can be one of the many ways to do that.
Being easy to implement in your current routine, mindful walking is something that more people should try to reinvigorate their minds and bodies. If mindful walking is a new concept, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to excel at this activity and reap the most rewards.
How to Walk Mindfully
Mindful walking is more than just lacing up some trainers and stepping outside. It requires much more thought, planning, and concentration to be done successfully. Mindful walking is a deliberate act; here are the key fundamentals of it that you need to be aware of:
1. Be aware of your environment
When mindfully walking, you must tune into the world and engage with the present moment. Be observant and marvel at the life that surrounds you. Focus on the sights, smells, sounds, and feeling you get as you take each stride.
You won’t succeed with mindful walking if you’re too preoccupied with your thoughts. Clear your mind and concentrate on where you’re walking.
2. Control your breathing
Like many other meditative activities, mindful walking is all about your breathing. It would be best to breathe slowly and with control, purposely feeling each inhale and exhale. Focusing on breathing right helps to clear your mind, making it a crucial part of the activity.
Jack Craig, Certified Personal Trainer of Inside Bodybuilding, says, “Focusing your breathing during exercise can elevate the routine. It gets more blood pumping and turns the activity from a physical-only exercise into something more mental, benefiting both parts of your health.”
Controlling your breathing is a great way to get more out of cardio exercise.
3. Tune into how your body feels
When mindful walking, you must tap into your inner self and constantly check in with your body’s feelings. Consider how your feet feel when striding on the floor, your shoulders sitting as you step, or your arms swinging. Being actively aware of yourself and your body improves the experience.
4. Concentrate on the Present
You shouldn’t be contemplating the present or the past when walking mindfully. Instead, you need to focus on what’s happening there and now to get the therapeutic benefits of mindful walking. Appreciate the moment you’re in and let your other thoughts and worries rest for the duration of the walk.
If your mind starts to wander, catch yourself and refocus. This is often one of the hardest parts to get right when walking mindfully, but concentrating on this will elevate your experience.
How Mindful Walking Helps
Mindful Walking Lowers Stress
The meditative properties of mindful walking make it a great stress buster and can help people relax and unwind, making them feel more able to tackle issues and problems.
Focusing your mind on the mechanics of the walk and your breathing offers a nice mental break to help you feel calmer. If you become restless at night, a mindful walk during the day can also help you better calm down in the evening.
Coty Perry, CMO at Anglers, says, “Similar to fishing, the calmness of mindful walking helps reduce stress, which can greatly benefit the body. Stress can affect not only your mind but your body, so being able to combat it through walking is great.”
Mindful Walking Boosts Mood
The sensory stimuli and the active nature of mindful walking can help boost your mood, making you feel more happy, fulfilled and in control. This is because taking the time to not focus on your worries or the perceived negatives in your life takes an enormous weight off your shoulders, making you feel much better. Also, nature has a psychological healing effect on us and can contribute to serotonin releases that make us feel good.
Mindful Walking Can Increase Energy and Creativity
Mindful walking can help people feel more energised, allowing them to take on the rest of the day with more vigour. How this type of walking can rejuvenate our energy drives makes it a valuable activity to do during work. Allowing yourself to take a break and walk is a great way to achieve work-life harmony and make you more creative.
Alex Milligan, CMO of NuggMD, says, “Stimulating your scenes and focusing on what you feel with a walk can spark your creativity. Many of the best ideas come after a walk like this, so it’s a great habit to get into.”
Physical Benefits of Mindful Walking
Of course, mindful walking is a physical activity at its core, no matter how much your brain is engaged when doing it. That means regular walking can help create some significant side effects on your physical health.
Walking can help you lose weight over the long term, as you burn more calories and it can also help your cardiovascular health, reducing your blood pressure over time. The focused deep breathing of the exercise can also improve your lung capacity and respiratory system, allowing you to take in more air, which can aid athletic performance. As well as that, mindful walking is said to be an exercise that will improve your posture, helping to alleviate any lingering aches and pains.
Mindful walking is a great activity to engage in. Much like yoga or meditation, it can significantly benefit your mind. It can be used to relax you, relieve stress, help you gain more energy, and support your physical health.
It is hard to do and is much more considered than having a mindless stroll. To help, you can focus the mind by listening to content designed for mindful walking, such as soundscapes and podcasts.
Mindful walking is something that can easily be added to your daily routine, as it only needs to take a few minutes. Give this activity a go, and begin to feel the mental benefits that it can bring.