In Part I of this series, I shared my belief about what health is: “A series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life. Health is a living, breathing state of being.” I also shared that I see the self as a whole—a Self with a capital S—meaning the magical combination of body/mind/spirit vs the view that the self is unconnected or unrelated parts or “just our body”.
In Part II we reviewed how walking creates health for our physical self—our body. Those benefits are remarkable. Today we’re going to take a look at how walking creates health for our minds—a topic I’m quite passionate about sharing with women.
Here at 1MWW there are two components to our walking Practice:
Taking mini-walks throughout the day.
Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.
Those two components are what I refer to as walking in the context of this blog series.
So how do mini-walks and a brisk daily walk create health for our minds? Well for starters, walking improves self-perception, self-esteem, mood and (this is huge ladies) our sleep quality. Walking also lowers stress and anxiety. One point I want to really emphasize in this catalogue of benefits is that a regular walking habit reduces our risk of becoming depressed by up to 30% AND helps those who are depressed to recover. This is really important ladies because we are twice as likely to be diagnoses with depression than men.
Another important way in which walking creates health for our minds is that as we age, a regular walking habit can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of dementia by 40%.
And here’s a bit of body/mind connectivity for you: As you begin to feel more fit, more energized, stronger and more vital from walking, your body image and confidence increase. That’s a fantastic benefit for us ladies!
I believe that our mind is not just the muscle we call our brain but an intelligence that runs throughout our entire body. An intelligence we can harness and fuel through simply walking. And I believe that once we begin walking, and walking becomes a habit, that habit will happily create more health for our healthy minds thus becoming a delightful and life-giving upward spiral of ever-increasing health and happiness. From simply walking.
Next week we’ll conclude this series with a look at how walking creates health for our spirit. Yes, walking is good for the soul! See you then!
PS. If you haven’t already done so, please download my free e-book, The Truth About Women Walking. I wrote it just for you to empower you with the life-saving, life-changing transformation walking can bring to yourSelf and your life. Also, please join 1MWW on Facebook—we’re a group of Walking Women who walk our walk and talk our walk every day!