Whether you are considering a walking meeting or simply striding out at lunchtime, the benefits of a change of scenery and stretching your legs are profound on your overall wellbeing:
Health Benefits: To touch on a few of the physiological aspects, a walk, some gentle exercise mixed with a few gulps of fresh air, will not only strengthen your heart but will reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact it reduces your overall chance of disease. For the weight conscious it clearly burns a few calories and tones muscles whilst surreptitiously stimulating a vitamin D fix which works on your immune system and bone health.
“Exercise is the best preventive drug we have, and everybody needs to take that medicine.” Jordan Metzl, a sports-medicine physician at New York City’s Hospital
Happiness Factor: Increased oxygen flow adds to your energy levels. Happy chemicals otherwise known as dopamine are released on exercising– a neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Exercise and walking is one of the best ways to increase your brains dopamine production. In fact research shows that a brisk walk is as effective as antidepressants, it enhances our overall positive mental health.
“With regular exercise, the body seeks to continue staying active,” Dr. Tsai, professor of neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina
A Tip: Have a go at being present. Taking a walk gives you the perfect opportunity to escape the distractions and interruptions of the office hum-drum and refocus. Whilst walking take notice of your surroundings and be curious. Notice your breathing and how you feel in your body. By taking notice and simply being aware of what is around you enables you to escape from past niggles and future “what-if’s” – it brings you into the present.
A few of the endless benefits of being present:
- The stillness and focus achieved when you are present helps you feel calm and less stressed
- For the over-thinkers and ruminators, this will give you a break
- This may sound strange but with less over analyzing comes a sense of appreciation
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha
So what’s stopping you? Here’s your chance to recharge – the choice is yours. For our Northern Hemisphere readers approaching Winter, there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. For our fair weather readers, go get ‘em!