“Happy is the man who has acquired the love of walking for its own sake”-W. J. Holland
Walking is like the vanilla of movement. Pretty plain and usually not that exciting. But as far as human evolution goes, walking on two legs was a huge part of our ability to take over the world. It freed up our arms and hands to be able to specialise in other tasks like hunting and gathering.
Walking can be described as “controlled falling”. Being able to move on two legs requires a tremendous amount of balance that we usually take for granted. Watching my son move from being stable on all fours while crawling to pulling himself up on furniture and being shaky, it reinforces that it does require many things to be strong enough and stable enough before walking is even possible.
Although the world we live in today is vastly different to the world our hunter gatherer ancestors roamed in, the bodies we inhabit are very much the same. I would like to give you some reasons to get out more and enjoy some vanilla.
Improve your mood
There are numerous studies that show that something as simple as going for a walk can improve your mood, even if it is a mundane walk towards something you don’t want to do. If you want to really boost your mood and relieve some stress go into the bush and do what the Japanese call “forest bathing”. Make sure to leave your phone at home and enjoy the time in nature with all your senses.
Help maintain a healthy weight
As our world changes our lives are becoming more sedentary. This means that while our bodies are made to move we tend to sit down more and more. The simple act of walking 10,000 steps per day has numerous health benefits such as increasing V02 max (ability to use oxygen), decreased body weight and decreased blood pressure.
Walking and exercise in general is a great way to improve your immune system. Studies show that a 30-45 minute walk increased the level of immune cells in the body and also dramatically reduced the frequency of sick days.
These are just a few of the many many benefits of walking. As we move into winter we may not be as motivated to get outside and walk but your body will thank you for it.