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“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau.
Walking is undeniably the easiest way to get active but it's holistic benefits reach much further than just boosting fitness and dropping a few pounds. I'll admit that a few years ago I would have needed some convincing but when I become mama to a beautiful pup, daily walks became a precious, non-negotiable part of my day and I haven’t looked back since.
The benefits go way beyond what I've written here but I think that these alone are all great reasons to get started…
If a good night’s sleep seems out of reach then it's possible that a walk in natural daylight could help and not just as a way to burn excess energy, although that probably wouldn’t hurt! But it’s a great way to balance your natural body clock because it’s daylight that helps us to stay naturally alert during the day and to slowly retire in the evening as it fades.
To wake up fully, we need sufficient daylight every morning (this also helps us to recognise the light fade at the end of the day when it’s time to rest). So, if you’re not enjoying natural daylight your body clock can become unbalanced. The solution can be as simple as; throwing open the curtains early and enjoying the light, walking the kids to school, getting a walk around the block or even parking a little further away from your work building to get in a few extra steps and soak up the morning light!
While we’re on the subject of sleep, if you're prone to feeling tired during the day and often take a nap then be sure that it isn’t keeping your restorative evening sleep at bay. Now I'm all for an afternoon nap now and then but sometimes we can shake that tiredness with a brisk walk around the block. If you’re having one of those days though and really need to get 40 winks then here are a few tips for making a power nap part of your self care routine without it impacting a restful nights sleep.
Stress is one of the biggest culprits for keeping happiness at bay and it's well known that exercise can help - which should be motivation enough to get us all moving. What I love is that it doesn't take long to wake up those mood boosting endorphins; it's said that even a 10 minute brisk walk can help. And, let’s be honest who can't find 10 minutes?! Leave your phone at home and enjoy a moment of solitude during your lunch break or finish your day with a walk out with the dog.
It's long been known that exercise boosts creativity; there's even research to back it up! Today, it’s not unheard of to take business meetings on the move or grab a brisk walk when the creativity just isn't flowing. And, you can leave perfection behind. There’s no need to wander across rolling hills and fields to feel the benefits; out-doors in any form is good enough which leaves very few excuses for getting started!
Exactly, how this boosts our brains creativity is uncertain, suggestions include the fact that the decision making part of our brain is distracted allowing space for inspiration to pop in. How it works is not as important as giving it a go. So, next time you're waiting for a lightning bolt of inspiration to strike, try grabbing your coat and taking a walk.
So, if walking has the potential to help us feel happier, sleep better and be more creative then it sounds like something we should all be doing a little more, don’t you think? The best part is that it doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need a new set of clothes to take part!
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.