living intuitively


Posts tagged physical health
W A L K it O U T
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Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

A few years ago, I read a health and fitness article which made a pretty bold claim: Walking is the best thing you can do for your body. It listed the following benefits you usually hear associated with walking: decreased blood pressure, increased circulation, improved blood pressure, decreased joint paint, elevated mood, etc. 

Sure, all good things. But really? Walking is the best thing you can do for your body? Exaggeration much? Turns It's actually pretty dang incredible for you.

Get this: Walking is the NUMBER ONE form of exercise for which our bodies are designed. Say whaaaat. Not squats. Not crunches. Not running. WALKING. Walking is the most natural movement for us. Not only does it generate the aforementioned benefits, but studies keep finding more and more. Here are some more:

  • Reduced body fat and body weight. (Turns out, it's truly effective at reducing belly fat. Hollaaaa!)
  • Improved glycemic control, especially if you walk 30 minutes after eating
  • Boosted memory and creativity - musts for me!
  • In conjunction with the previous benefit, it sparks ideas and solutions. (My best ideas/solutions usually come when I'm out walking my dogs.) 
  • Increased lymphatic flow, which helps flush toxins from the body. (YES PLEASE!)
  • Reduced pain (It's low impact and can even help offset joint pain and arthritis by keeping those muscles warm and limber)
  • Improved sleep (particularly if you walk outside during the day, which helps regulate your circadian rhythms)

And if you really step to it and get moving, it can be an even BETTER workout than jogging! Once you near that threshold, it's actually easier to break into a jog than it is to maintain that brisk walking pace. 

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Some tips on amping up your walk:

  • Incorporate weights: ankle weights, wrist weights, weighted vest, light dumbbells, or a baby :)
  • Add in intervals: play around with varying inclines/speeds. Note: If you jack up the incline while on a treadmill, keep it hands free! If you cling to the sides of the treadmill, you're technically cheating.
  • Take a hike! A hike is a fantastic way to squeeze in some extra booty work

Working out places stress on your body. This is a good thing, because your body's reaction to the stress is what makes it stronger and faster. However, if you're in a hyper-stressed state to begin with (mentally/physically), then this can do more harm than good. Especially if you OD on the the workout/don't let your body recover. Walking is an excellent movement option if you are:

  • Wanting active recovery (especially if your muscles are sore!)
  • Easing into exercise and don't want to jump into anything too strenuous
  • Recovering from adrenal fatigue and need to mellow out for a bit while not losing your endurance
  • Are needing stress relief
  • Trying to fit both exercise and meditation into your day, yet keep falling short. Hello, moving meditation (it's a thing!)

Your walking pace, intensity, and length of time are completely up to you, depending on your individual goals/needs. A ten-minute walk 30 minutes after eating can be just as comparable as a 45-minute walk. When I walk my dogs, I turn on my tunes and zone out. It's my release time, my me time, my reflection time. I'm not trying to make a certain time or cover a certain distance - I'm there for the mental benefits. 

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So decide what you're in it for, and go for it!

Here are some helpful resources:





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Get On Ya Feet
Photos by Brooke Richardson Photography

Photos by Brooke Richardson Photography

Wanna know something scary? Don't worry, I never list a problem without providing a solution.


Whether you're deep in a Netflix binge or chained to a desk at work, the result is the same: bad news. Sedentary lifestyles are no bueno, and we're sucked into them for a number of reasons:

  • Technology makes our lives increasingly more convenient
  • Social media hooks us (HELLO mindless scrolling)
  • Jobs limit us to one spot for long periods of time (this includes commuting)

I used to think I was in the clear because I consistently worked out and prioritized fitness. PSYYYYYCHE. Turns out, research shows no matter how hard you kill it in the gym, no amount of time or intensity can offset the effects of you being sedentary for 5+ hours. Get this: Sitting for over five hours is the health equivalent to smoking a pack of cigs a day. YIKES. 

However, there is a remedy: standing up every 10 minutes. Ideally, you get the heart pumping a little while you're at it, by doing squats/lunges/jumping jacks/etc, but at the very least, get off your booty. 

Set a timer on your phone to remind you to stand up every ten minutes. Pretty soon, your body will prompt you naturally. For a few years now, I've been standing up every ten minutes, and like clockwork, my body will start screaming at me to stand up on that tenth minute. It's incredible. I personally do squat/lunge variations for a few seconds when I stand.

Still not convinced? Get a load of the following:

  • Sitting for long periods of time can cause changes in your muscles. You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream and start accumulating fat. You get sleepy and gain weight. [New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds in her book The First 20 Minutes in an NPR article, inked below].
  • When you stand, your heart beats ten times more per minute than when you sit. In a year, this adds up to more than 30,000 calories burned, which equates to running ten marathons [ article, linked below]
  • Taking walking or water breaks throughout the day can increase productivity by 60 percent!




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