The benefits of walking: mind, body and soul

Rear View Of Family Taking Dog For Walk In CountrysideIn today’s fitness arena the newest is almost always thought to be the best.  I definitely like to feel the burn to know I am getting the job done and this has taken me to everything from barre classes to Pilates to interval workouts all around town.  While there will always be a place for these exercises when you are looking to lose weight or work specifically on certain strengths or body parts, sometimes you need something a little lower impact but packed with other benefits.  An injury after a cycling class forced me to resort back to my old go-to…Walking.

In my mind walking was something done by people just getting back in a workout state of mind.  While some of the low impact benefits do make walking appealing to those who want to take it easy on their knees or hips, I fell in love with some of the other benefits of walking. With high impact exercise off my menu for a while any exercise is definitely better than no exercise.  As many jobs have us sitting all day it is a great way to get on your feet and get moving.  Gymnast girlYou can always modify your work out as well by adding weights around your ankles and/or wrist or picking up the pace.  Also you can mix in some calisthenics like jumping jacks or squats to add some strength training to your walk.

I have discovered through my walks at Hermann Park that the physical benefits are actually at the bottom of the list on why I walk.  Instead it’s the mental benefits that keep me coming back.  Having a chance to get out outdoors, stretch my legs and let the stress of the day melt away under the umbrella of trees.  After a long day it is the perfect break between work and home that delivers you a little bit calmer and better able to give your best self to your family.   It is a chance to reflect on the day before you put the past behind you and to meditate on how you can get better in the days to come.  Most of all surrounded by the miracle of nature it is a great place to just feel grateful.  There is no better reality check from what you don’t have then realizing all that you do and a great way to change your perspective, even after a horrible day.  Especially while the weather is mild, take advantage of a great chance to walk in a park or on a trail in Houston.