To walk away my blues, all I need are a good pair of walking shoes.
~ Catherine L. Taylor
Walking is an exercise for the mind, body and soul. The benefits of walking are many: walking helps us lose weight, burns fat and calories, builds muscle, and strengthens our heart and body. It also clears our minds, boosts our mood and metabolism, and centers and grounds us firmly on the earth.
Walking is easy to do, requires no special equipment, and doesn’t cost anything extra, except for a good pair of walking shoes. It’s also a great way to begin moving and exercising after a period of being sedentary. It’s easy on the joints and it’s pretty hard to get injured doing it. It’s also a wonderful way to explore our environment without burning precious fuels.
Walking can be done alone or it can be a great way to build friendships and camaraderie with others. To speed up weight loss and fitness, it can be made more challenging by adding weights, varying speeds, and walking terrains. Because of this, walking is an exercise that can be done on a regular basis and a person will not grow tired of it.
Studies show that walking is one of the best ways to reduce bothersome belly fat. Belly fat is directly linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and early death. To walk off belly fat and lose an inch a month, all you need to do is walk briskly 2 and ½ hours a week or 20 minutes a day. And if you don’t have a 20 minute block, break that down into 2 10 minute walks a day. Even the busiest of us can usually manage that. Walk even more and lose more weight. It’s a pretty painless path to weight loss nirvana.
It’s no accident that many major spiritual traditions use walking as a contemplative practice and meditation. Walking is a restorative practice that can help us live mindfully in the moment and gracefully accept the rhythms and movement of life. Walking helps us to fully inhabit the body and the world we live in.
A regular walking practice outside in nature brings home the awareness that everything in this world is impermanent and subject to change, including us. And that simple fact is what allows us to transform our health, our hearts, and our lives.
Ready to get walking? Learn how to start a walking program here.