What if you could walk your way to Happiness? – The easiest, most enjoyable, and almost always available physical activity I can recommend is walking. Simply taking a stroll around the block, in your neighborhood, to the store, in the park, or through a city—not power walking or trekking across the country—is among the most effective ways to maintain a physically active lifestyle. The walking bandwagon isn’t just limited to me. Walking is supported on a national level by groups such as America Walks and projects such as Everybody Move!
You can walk multiple times per day without having to think about it.
Here are just a few reasons why strolling is great:
In most cases, we don’t have to go out of our way to find it. Walking facilitates quality time with our children and families as well as connecting with friends. After letting go of rules about how walking should be done, walking feels great.
Clearing our minds is one of the benefits of walking. Walking is perfect for taking in some relaxing time on our own or enjoying someone else’s company. Almost anywhere, any time, and in any weather are suitable for this activity. No matter what age you are, you can do it. It won’t cost you anything except a pair of good shoes.
We count walking as a daily activity whenever we walk somewhere, anywhere, or as part of our work. There are many ways in which it benefits our health and well-being. All of these benefits are achieved through walking, plus it counts as exercise! Even though walking is an excellent physical activity for so many, walking for exercise is still viewed as “cheating.” I can honestly say that few people have started our work believing that walking is a valid form of exercise in all the twenty years since I started coaching people.
What’s the best part?
If we workout on an elliptical or walk at the same intensity level for the same amount of time, there is no difference in the number of calories we burn. Walking (and it counts for a lot) becomes exciting to people once they understand it counts. What’s the point of going to the gym when you’d rather be walking in the park with your family? I have been walking every day for ten years, and it has become a huge part of my life. Do what feels right to you when you decide to try walking.
When we walk for pleasure, we don’t just like it and want to keep doing it, according to the neuroscience of reward. Other studies have shown that people still select intensities that are likely to improve physiological fitness and health, even when walking at a pace that maintains positive feelings. Taking a twenty-minute walk is better than not running four miles, according to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.
Before reading No Sweat, you had the opportunity to explore the meanings you’ve had for exercise and physical activity, how they came to be, and what the science is saying about them. In addition to “exorcising exercise,” you had the opportunity to participate in other activities to begin to transform exercise from a chore to a gift.
Permission is the subject we will explore in this lesson. The culmination of everything you’ve learned so far in the sections on Meaning and Awareness, as well as giving you the power to move forward on your path of sustained self-care and success by aligning who you really are and what you most want and need with your physical movement choices.