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Heal, improve and inspire (the benefits of walking)

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 11/09/19 18:00

inspire-2

Years ago in these pages I wrote about The Pond.

This was about the time that I started to walk to work.

I used to cycle to work, but it only takes 5 minutes and it wasn’t long enough or even worth the effort of getting my bike out of the garage.

At the moment now it takes 15 minutes to walk to work, in the new place it will take 45 minutes.

It’s now a bad day if I have to take the car and that does not happen often.

Like all things, it’s hard to change routine and to force a different habit into life.

I know, but once the walking habit is forced in, the benefits are extraordinary.

Here is my view of the benefits of walking to work and a little insight into what it might be able to do for you.

       Heal

  1. The first thing you can do on the walk to work or the walk home is to heal. Walking is mindfulness if you let it be, so no headphones, no conversation, deep breath and listening and looking at what is around you right now, right here. That is proper medicine and if you don’t think that it is, just try it for a week.

     Improve

  1. Once you have healed or if you feel healed and unstressed and content you can improve. I do this with headphones and with audiobooks (and sometimes podcasts) I can walk and gain the benefits of walking and learn and improve and assimilate information. Ideas for improvement would be to listen to David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell you could even take the time to explore our podcast Incisive Decisive or how about Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.

If you’re done with improvements or perhaps either on the way to or the way home, you could go for inspiration (using the headphones again).

Books like Cloud atlas by David Mitchell or Sam Fenders new album are good places to start.

Better than this though, is that 30 minutes each way to work at a reasonable pace would burn 300 calories at least.

If you manage to get into the routine of doing this 4 days a week, several things would happen.

  1. You would almost certainly improve your mental health and your state of mind.
  2. It would absolutely deffinatley improve your cardiac health.
  3. If you manage to walk 70 times in that 6 month period, you would burn 21,000 calories.
  4. If you didn’t eat anything else that you normally eat, you would lose between 0.5 and 1 stone in weight, while still getting all of the benefits of above.

I realise that you’re too busy to do this.

I also realise that you live too far away from work and have to drive, but when I suggested this strategy years ago, I had made a point that you can park your car 30 minutes from work and walk from there and someone came up to me when I was speaking at a conference once and told me that they had started to do that and the positive experience it had, had on her life.

I find it really hard to stay positive all of the time. I find it really hard to keep the weight down.

As I reflect and write this, I realise that walking to work has been one of the most important things that I have done.

(PS. I also have a dog and there is nothing better than making sure that you walk twice a day when getting a dog).

 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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