The Benefits of Mindful Walks (Social Distancing Edition)

Daily walks can be used as part of mindfulness. The techniques have many possible benefits and may help you feel more grounded, balanced, and serene. It also helps you to develop different awareness of your surroundings, body, and thoughts.

Here are some of the many benefits of daily walking:

  1. Boost Blood Flow Mindful Walking is often used by people who sit for long periods. The walking practice helps to get the blood flowing, especially to the legs. It helps to alleviate feelings of sluggishness or stagnancy. Mindful walking is also a great way to boost blood circulation and raise your energy levels if you’re doing seated work for extended periods.

  2. Improve Digestion Walking after eating is a fantastic way to boost digestion, especially if you’re feeling heavy or full. Movement helps food to move through your digestive tract and may also prevent constipation.

  3. Reduce Anxiety If you’re looking to lower your stress levels, you may find it useful to do a seated meditation practice before or after you work out. A 2017 study on young adults showed that walking is more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety when combined with meditation. The participants who showed the most significant changes in their anxiety levels either meditated, meditated before walking, or walked before meditating. The control group, along with people who only walked, didn’t show as great of improvements. Each meditation or walking session was 10 minutes.

  4. Improve Blood Sugar Levels and Circulation A small 2016 study concluded that mindful walking practice had a positive effect on blood sugar levels and circulation in people with type 2 diabetes.

  5. Alleviates Depression It's important to stay active, especially as you age. Regular exercise helps to boost fitness levels and improve mood - both of which are at risk of declining in older adults.

  6. Improves Well-being When possible, take a walk in nature, like a park, garden, or place with trees, which may enhance your overall feelings of well-being and help you feel more balanced.

  7. Improves Sleep Quality To get the benefits of exercise, it’s not necessary to do an intense workout. Research from 2019 showed that regular moderate exercise has a positive effect on sleep quality. Walking may help to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension so you feel better physically. Plus, you’ll be more likely to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, especially if you walk in the morning. All of these benefits can leave you with a calm, clear mind so you’re ready to drift off and sleep deeply each night.

  8. Makes Exercise Enjoyable Incorporating a mindfulness aspect into your fitness routine may make exercise more enjoyable. Researchers in a small 2018 study Trusted Source found that people who listened to a mindfulness recording while doing a 10-minute walk on a treadmill found the activity more enjoyable. They were directed to notice their physical sensations in a non-judgmental way. This points to the likelihood that mindfulness may inspire connecting to exercise in a different way.

  9. Inspires Creativity Practicing mindfulness may bring you more clarity and focus to your thought patterns, which in turn can stimulate creativity. Research from 2015 points to the link between mindfulness and creativity. More studies are needed that examine specific aspects of creativity in relation to mindfulness. In the meantime, you can explore how a mindfulness practice enhances your problem-solving skills or the cultivation of new ideas.

  10. Enhances Balance A study from 2019 on older women suggests that walking can encourage better balance as well as ankle awareness and coordination. The practice involves awareness of leg and ankle movements while walking slowly.

Make Mindful Walking a Part of Your Day

Be aware of the present moment. Keep a Safe Distance. Slow Down. Stay Safe.

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