Join the ranks of legends of all types: Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Sigmund Freud, and others. What do they all have in common? They made time for regular walks and built their thinking & meeting time around them.
A simple walk can be so impactful, especially if our plate is full or overflowing, however, it still may feel difficult to fit in all our priorities.
Walks can be naturally integrated into a schedule without disrupting the day. The opportunities are many: begin a walk upon receiving a phone call (especially the lengthy ones), park the car further away for those extra footsteps, build a walk into wake up or wind down routines, utilize a portion of your lunchtime for a digestion walk, get off one stop before your destination on public transit in order to walk the rest of the way, and of course, walking meetings/discussions.
By reframing the importance of a walk, it will become easier to make them happen:
Reduced Sedentary Time
It is easy to get lost in our sitting (or even standing) workspaces. Besides for the benefits derived directly from walking, being active also counteracts the pitfalls of staying stationary for too long.
Because it is easy to stay sitting for too long, walking, for most, is a simple and proactive solution.
Relationship and Connection
Whether or not we are taking a walk with somebody (i.e. conducting a walking meeting with a client/coworker, or catching up with a friend), walking can prompt a focus outside of ourselves. This shift in focus can bring us the much needed reset we may not have known we needed.
Humans are social & connective beings with a need for interaction. Even if we don’t know the people we are walking by (nor actually say “hi”) there is basic and important connection being made by walking about. Additionally, we naturally connect to our environment. As we walk by plants, animals, and receive a rush of wind, we are widening our focus, even temporarily, and taking care of our connective needs.
Physical & Mental Health
Blood flow & mood reset are the low hanging fruit of taking a walk. Our bodies are built to be active. As we help our blood flow more easily to the rest of our body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to our brain & body’s tissues, we can be confident that we’re aiding a physical reset. As we take a brief break from our working environment, we can guide ourselves to reset our stress levels & refresh our mood.
Creativity, Focus, & Productivity
Physical activity does wonders for our thinking. Whether we pair it with quiet time for ourselves or engaging in conversations and problem-solving discussions, we can step into fresh perspectives and renewed innovative thinking. Our creativity, focus, and productivity are essential elements in our value creation, however, they can only be as effective as our self care.
Various studies and researchers have even concluded that adopting a habit of walking will aid in a longer and healthier life.
Walking is a paramount example of how consistent and small investments can add up to a profound outcome. After half an hour, you can expect to have walked 1-1.5 miles (for those walking between 2-3 miles per hour). At a rate of three times per week over 50 weeks, that is 150-225 miles built into the year!
This small investment in your schedule may be your ticket to walking confidently with the greats.
What aspects of your routine, if shared, would others benefit from?
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