How Walking Has Changed Me
Walking has never been front and center of any exercise regimen of mine, like ever. I’ve been above walking. You don’t sweat while you walk. It takes too much time. And even felt it’s for old people in the mall. Until I tried it. Balancing running and walking has been the best thing that ever happened to my physical and mental health and I would like to explain why and hopefully inspire you to slow down and walk.
A couple of years ago, I had been on a deep personal journey of healing. I was standing front and center confronting things of my past that were affecting how I navigated in the world as an adult woman. I came to an abrupt realization that I run from everything instead of facing people, problems and issues. I then had an epiphany of why I really enjoyed and found peace in physically running. I’d been a runner since my sophmore year of college—running, literally physically and metaphorically, to rid myself of unhealthy body image issues, freshman 15 and an unhealthy romantic relationship. After gliding down a rabbit hole of self discovery, I experienced a Reiki session in which the energy worker suggested I stop running as much and try other forms of exercise to remain active. You don’t say, friend? She suggested dance, which I did, and strangely walking, which I resisted.
My normal workout schedule prior to the Reiki Session was about 4-5 days of running at least 4-6 miles per day. I would jam my earbuds into my ear and run 10 minute miles to the soundtrack of Yo Gotti or Gucci Mane.
Then a shift happened. Things has to change and slow down a bit. Prior to the pregnancy, I had to take time to really slow down, get in touch with my own thoughts, listen to the beautiful harmony of birds and cars and walk for 45 minutes at least 2-3 times per week. I started out struggling with the urge to run. I felt like I was being unproductive physically. I couldn’t be present in the moment to save my life. Every time I go now, I get a little more engaged and calmer. I listen to podcasts instead of rap.
Those walks helped bring life back to me. I have always been an on the go, what’s next type of person. I had to slow down and force myself to learn how to live in the current moment. The biggest lesson was not running away from things and learning how to move slowly and gracefully through issues. I’ve learned to be more patient with myself as I’ve begun this walking journey.
Of course, during my times of healing from my miscarriage and also being pregnant again, I’m not physically able to run as much. I’ve accepted my body’s slower process of weight loss or maintaining my weight. I’m sure 5 more months of walking during pregnancy will be just fine. Taking the time to go for walks to step away from the computer or planning for new baby has really helped with my anxiety majorly.
I think this is the perfect time to share with you all ways to make walking more rewarding
WAYS TO MAKE WALKING MORE REWARDING FOR YOU
MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY
You will more than likely pass someone on your walks especially if walking on trails or in public parks. Compliment a passerby or even simply smile. It goes a very long way.
TAKE IN NATURE
You have all day to speed through the rest of the day. Stop and enjoy the beauty around you. Let go of all the cloudy thoughts in your head and just enjoy the birds, flowers and bees.
GET TO KNOW SOMEONE BETTER
Many of you work in downtown areas or in corporate places with a lot of coworkers. Ask someone in the office or set a date with a friend for a lunch for a walk session. Instead of hopping in the car, pack a lunch on the go and walk through the city landscape. Get to know your coworker better or your city.
DO WALKING “RUN THROUGH”
If there’s an important presentation or meeting at work, practice it while you go on a walk. I promise it helps to calm your nerves and you get to make as many bloops in privacy.
TAKE BETTER PICTURES
Slower travel, meaning walking versus jumping in an Uber is much more rewarding. You’ll see a whole lot more angles by walking across a city and its attraction while on foot.
BE AN EXPLORER
The point of traveling is exploring new places, sounds, sights and smell. Lace up those shoe during your next staycation or family vacation and see what’s in store in new places.
Is walking in your current exercise regimen? How has it helped you? I’d love for you to share your thoughts.