Our blog this month is a bit different and looks at ideas we can use to add balance and value to a daily walk, applying moments of focus which then can assist us through our busy-ness.
Being mindful means to be present, focused and aware of your internal and external landscapes at any given moment. Mindfulness can slow our heart rate, reduce anxiety and depression; so when we are mindful during exercise, our workout is more effective. One of the easiest ways to “drop into mindfulness” while walking is to listen to your footsteps. Try breathing-in for four steps, hold for four steps and then exhale for four steps. This takes a little concentration, but allows you to release the extraneous thoughts in your head and focus in the present.
Take a story walk
The App, ‘Sound Walks’ by The Echoes is an interactive audio made by artists, musicians, authors and historians from around the world, with content triggered by GPS or Apple iBeacons along a route. There are musical soundtracks for a Gloucestershire country walk, Aquatic Insects in Noosa, Rainforests in Cairns or even a murder mystery in Coventry, all of which unfold as you walk.
Solve a problem
Shane O’Mara, a neuroscientist, in his book ‘In Praise of Walking’ illustrates the many ways in which walking sharpens the mind and encourages creativity by bringing on theta brainwaves and the production of brain-nourishing chemicals. This is why a daily walk is the perfect time to mentally plan your essay, rehearse your lines, carry out thought experiments, solve an advanced maths problem or daydream – or even write a blog!
Walk your routes in reverse
The beauty of lockdown walks with no destination is that there is no need to repeat routes. But even if you are wedded to your favourites, doing them backwards will throw up new aspects and discoveries, allowing different perspectives and you’ll be surprised what such a small change does to the wiring of your brain… like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand!
Happy walking everyone!
With much love and light
Judi & Kate