An alternative advent calendar
Whatever the weather, we should all make the time to get outside and go for a walk.
Even with Tier 4 upon us*, we are able to go out for unlimited exercise so we should make the most of this.
the benefits of walking are well documented:
it is known to increase the fitness of our heart and lungs
reduced the likelihood of heart disease and stroked
can help to manage high blood pressure
improve joint and muscle mobility and reduce reduce stiffness
In addition, there are benefits on our mood. When we feel low it can help to shift our mood.
I have loved hiking but it was only years into it that I realised for me, it was my form of meditation. As someone who never has a quiet mind, walking was the only thing which turned the volume down on all the chatter.
We always live such hectic lives so whilst many of us are still working, try to find the time to head out and stretch those legs.
It doesn't have to be a hike
Getting outside and walking could be a walk around your garden, up and down your street, or up a hill of the location allows. It can be a brisk 5 minutes or a lovely refreshing 3 hours!
Oh no, the rain
Oh and yes, I know it's raining (in London at least)! I know that some of you might think I'm insane but water is cleansing and being outside in it can really help to bring a different perspective. If we go outside seeing it as miserable, then we will feel that way but if we see it as an adventure, then it will be.
dress up warm (layers are great and a spare pair of socks in case yours get wet)
put on a rain coat
get your wellies out (or waterproof shoes)
Jump in puddles!! There's a lot to say about the benefits of this!
Open your senses
As you are walking, open up your senses:
- What do you hear? Can you hear the birds, cars engines, sirens whirring - being in the present moment doesn't mean it needs to be all calm and tranquil. Try to stop and listen, identify things, think about where the sounds are located.
- Use your eyes - we sometimes take for granted what's in front of us and walk by things that can amaze us. A good way of doing this is taking your camera and taking pictures of all the things you find interesting, colourful, unusual. Take the time to see what animals, trees and plants you spot and try not to worry if you don't know how to identify them, just observe.
- What are the different smells around you? - Of course this might not always be pleasant but notice how things vary. I am heading into the woods today and am excited about the small the rain will have brought out.
- Touch - Touch things that are around you. What does the wall along the path feel like, or more so, the trunk of a tree, how does a wet leaf feel in the palm of your hand. Close your eyes when you do it, you might be surprised. *It goes without saying to be careful of areas that other people might come into contact with! Be sensible and you will be fine!
- Taste - so, I am not going to tell you to eat mud :D But why not take a flask of tea with you, and even sandwich so you don't get hungry?!
Wherever you go - enjoy!!
There are also plenty of walking apps and maps including the ordinance survey.
*Pls respect the Tier 4 guidelines when walking - respect one another and keep safe
All photos from unsplash.com