Walking as Therapy
As a San Francisco therapist I’ve heard it all. There is a therapy for everyone or thing. From astrological therapy to psychic therapy – there are some interesting remedies out there. While I prefer to stay a little more grounded one form of therapy I love is walking.
Walking as therapy not only keeps your waist trim, but it helps to clear your mind. Walking is a proven mood lifter. Who hasn’t gone for a walk to try to work out a problem before? The mental clarity that comes with walking – whether inside on a treadmill or outside in all of Mother Nature’s glory – can’t be found in many other activities, swimming and running come close but those require a little more focus on sport whereas walking doesn’t. Simply put one foot in front of the other.
Improve your Mood – Walking can easily improve your mood without increasing your waistline like so many other coping mechanisms – eating and drinking. Walking increases circulation which helps you feel more energized. Walk in the sun and you’re increasing your exposure to vitamin D, something many of us lack due to sitting inside at the office most of the day.
Increase Creativity – Walking also increases your creativity. Research has shown that those who get out and walk are better able to solve difficult problems and they come up with more unique and interesting ways of solving them, compared to those who sat at their desks and just ruminated. Walking takes you away from your troubles or problems for a brief moment. Getting up and away from the thing that is puzzling you can often times be just what is needed to see the problem from a different, more solvable angle.
Sense of Accomplishment – Walking is an easy way to reach a goal each day. And reaching a goal each day sets you up to reach more. It builds confidence. Everyone is wearing step counters these days. Most people are trying to hit 10,000 steps. If you work in an office and sit at a desk all day it can be difficult to reach that goal. 10,000 steps is a lot of steps, you have to make an effort to reach 10,000. And when you do, it feels glorious. Hitting a goal each day is an amazing way to reach other goals that you set for yourself.
You’ll Feel Better – In addition to the mental clarity, creativity and confidence you build, walking keeps you or gets you into shape. You will burn calories and lower your blood sugar. Two things our sedentary society needs to more of.
Get out there and walk, you can even practice gratitude while your doing it. Two birds, one stone!