Take a Hike! Walking for Stress-Relief and Inspiration

woman walking

 “The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk.” Thomas Jefferson

Let me start off by saying that this isn’t going to be a blog where I debate whether walking is a good form of cardio, or how it compares to jogging or weight training.

When you want real physique results, you know what to do: weight training and eat a good diet.

The simple fact is that our bodies are designed to move and our modern lifestyle, with its tied-to-a-desk mentality, isn’t do us any favours.

Daily walking could just be the solution.

Walking for Everyone

Walking has the lowest barrier to entry of any activity. Practically anyone, from age about 1 to 101, can benefit from regular walking. It’s often prescribed for the elderly as their primary exercise (I also recommend weight training for this age group!), but many a harried executive has seen the benefits of adding walking to his/her daily routine. Sometimes all it takes is a brisk 10-15 lunchtime walk to clear your head and get pumped for an afternoon of productivity. A post-dinner walk instead of camping out in front of the TV, can be a major life change for many people.

Mental Health Benefits

Walking is often suggested as an initial intervention for mild to moderate depression. You don’t need to be facing a mild mental disorder from the practice though. Walking regularly (3-4x per week) helps increase brain connectivity and cognitive performance. You’ll be a brighter bulb in no time! combat the effects of aging. Walking on a treadmill is ok if the weather is unbearable, but research has also shown benefits from being outdoors surrounded by nature so try to get outdoors as much as possible.

Taking a walk with your family on the weekends is a great way to spend quality time your loved ones, as well as modelling healthy behaviour.

Clear Your Mind, Creative New Brilliance

I’ve always found long walks to be my most creative time. The first ten minutes or so can sometimes feel like a chore, but when I get going it feels like I never want to stop. My mind feels clear and free to create brilliant new ideas. After a long walk, I’m refreshed and full of inspiration.

If you’re struggling with an important decision, taking a walk might clear away the distractions of the day-to-day world that prevent you from finding the right choice. It’s such a simple trick that it’s easy to forget how beneficial it is. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’ll be moving forward with your life in the best way.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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