By Patrick Shelton, Holly Creek Masterpiece Living Lifestyle Coordinator
Walking has been our mode of transportation since… well, since we started walking. If we aren’t flying, swimming, creeping, slithering, or crawling, we are walking. If our cars and bicycles break down we walk. If the bus is late or we miss the train, we walk. It is in our blood. The Israelites walked for forty years. Walking is the most reliable and inexpensive mode of transportation we have. We don’t need any special gear to do it.
Recent studies have proven that walking is good for the brain too. It has been shown to enhance creativity, slow cognitive decline, and even increase the size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that is associated with memory. It increases blood flow to the brain which in turn helps us focus. It also helps to take a walk when we are feeling blue or depressed.
Walking with a friend enhances our social well-being. Walking with several people in a group keeps our language and communication skills sharp. Walking with young children is just a lot of fun and it gives us energy as well as makes us smile and laugh.
Walking in nature connects us to the world. Feeling the breeze on our faces, hearing the sound of leaves and grasses rustling in the wind, or the melodious sounds of different song birds and the water flowing down a stream puts our minds at ease and helps refill our spiritual cup.
Walking makes the body strong. It makes us stand a little taller and it uses almost all of our muscles. It slows disease and keeps us active and alive. It awakens all of the senses and makes us more alert and in tune with our bodies.
The next time you have nothing to do, take a walk. Add it to your daily schedule this summer and see the positive changes that take place in your life. Enjoy!