The art of walking and its benefits
Published: 5 October, 2016 - Updated: 14 January, 2021 | 2'
So much has been said about the benefits of walking that many of us don’t stop to think that it really could do us good. Because walking is more than merely sauntering.
Henry D. Thoreau, born in 1817, was a naturalist and essayist, who left us an essay on the art of walking and its benefits. This is what he wrote: “men gently return to their houses at night-time from the countryside, where the echoes of the place pursue them, and their lives languish because they breathe their own breath time and time again, morning and afternoon, their shadows reaching further than their daily footsteps. We should return home from afar, from adventures and daily discoveries: with new experience and character.”
Thoreau’s proposal introduces us to a new dimension. We get lost in experiences that try to take us, further than our feet will allow. Walking has many advantages and benefits if we do it as our daily exercise because it helps us feel good.
But it is not only about taking steps to get from one place to another. Walking requires you to be willing to feel the benefit of each step. You do not need to make any great efforts, nor is it too complicated. It’s a gentle exercise that boosts blood circulation and oxygen in the body. What’s more, you can do it anywhere, at any time of the day and you don’t need to be super fit.
It does however require a certain degree of consistency and dedication. Walking around five kilometres in one hour, keeping your arms and legs in time, 3 to 4 times a week, is great for your wellbeing and ensures that you dedicate some time to yourself. The times that we’re living in, where we rush around with no space for ourselves, walking enables us to remove ourselves from everyday stress and makes us feel better about ourselves, improving our biological, psychological and social wellbeing.
The art of walking lies in feeling that we can dedicate time to ourselves and being stress-free. We can feel our body at every step of the way, and as we progress, we feel more agile, step by step, and realise that our muscles are releasing tension… When we get home, a relaxing shower is waiting for us, meaning that we are rewarding ourselves for starting this activity. Keeping up this process helps us achieve stability and wellbeing day by day.
Walking helps us control our cholesterol levels, obesity and blood pressure, as well as helping prevent osteoporosis. Comfortable shoes and music is all we need to get started. Feeling our legs in rhythm with our arms and we can disconnect from everything, as walking increases the sense of wellbeing and reduces stress and apathy. This is how we learn that the gentle effort that we make when walking allows us to make walking an art, which is inexpensive, very beneficial, satisfying and improves physical and mental health.
Source: Salud&Aromas magazine