The Beauty and Benefits of Walking
“Walking, much like singing, steadies the mind. When we place one foot in front of the other, we can feel the body lean and sway as we move forward. The first steps may be slow, but gradually we find our gait.” – Author and spiritual teacher Stephen Levine.
For those who love walking, and engage in it with zeal and passion, Levine’s quote speaks straight to the heart. And there are millions of walking enthusiasts worldwide. In fact, research has shown that walking is the most popular of all aerobic physical activities.
Although you probably walk several hundred to a few thousand steps each day, you may not think of walking as a way to stay fit. But walking has numerous benefits that could motivate you to get on your feet more often. If you are unfamiliar with those benefits, or need a memory refresher, keep reading.
Walking for weight loss
When you walk at a brisk pace—fast enough to make it difficult to talk—you can burn significant calories and promote healthy weight loss. Walking uphill will increase the intensity of your workout and add help you burn even more calories. If you want to increase your natural walking speed, try walking at intervals of a leisurely pace and quick pace. Over time this will help you increase the speed of your walk and improve your balance.
Low-impact muscle toning
Almost anyone can enjoy walking as exercise because it is low-impact for the joints. As you begin to walk more often, you will notice increased muscle strength that will further reduce the stress on your joints and lower back.
Mood and spirituality
Walking has been shown to dramatically improve mood, and even help with depression, stress, and anxiety. Also, says walking and marathon coach Wendy Bumgardner, walking can help connect believers with God. “The rhythm of walking and the integration of body and mind leaves you open to talk with God, uncluttered by other intrusions.”
Free exercise anywhere
One of the most beautiful aspects of walking is that other than a sturdy pair of walking shoes, there is no investment to get started. The whole world may be your gym for a walking workout, and you may even discover new places that you cannot get to by car. So put on those walking shoes, do some gentle stretching, and start walking!
And remember, Optimum Health Institute is here for you, and we’ll motivate you to stick with your new commitment to walk. To discover new ways to improve your health and empower yourself, explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.