smiling man walking on a sidewalk

The Benefits of Taking Long Walks

Since the Coronavirus pandemic has started, my focus has been physical mental emotional and spiritual health. I believe that for a person to live a life worth living, they have to do so in alignment. This means that their actions reflect their beliefs which reflects their convictions.

One of the ways in which I fulfill the needs of my mind body and spirit is by going on extended or long walks. This habit of mine started at the beginning of the shut down for the purposes of promoting my mental health. You see, sitting around your house, like a lot of us are inevitably doing right now, can be detrimental in all the areas just mentioned, specially on your mental health.

Going on long and extended walks help with alleviating the stress both covert and overt that leading a sedimentary lifestyle can ensue. When you are not active regularly, your body grows accustomed to it. Newton’s law of motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion while in object at rest tends to stay at rest. As this relates to our lives, by taking 30 minutes to an hour a day to walk and get your body moving, you are promoting not only physical health but also mental and spiritual health.

man walking
Photo by Jeffrey Czum on Pexels.com

The fruits of living in alignment is self-improvement, and the fruits of self-improvement is growth. There is a direct correlation between how you treat yourself and where you end up in life. There are only two directions that we can go: forward or nowhere; Walking is the simplest form of this reality.

When you go on long walks you allow yourself to also connect with the world around you. You will start noticing different things in your environment. You will notice the changing colors on the trees, you will feel the refreshing breeze that gently blows, and see things that you would not normally pay attention to. This is your spirit connecting with the energy around it.

You are a spiritual being having a physical experience meaning that everything around you reflects what is taking place inside of you. How you interact with your environment is a mirror to how you interact with yourself. Going on walks can be a good way to improve upon your self-perception by changing how you perceive the world around you.

The people you pass by, the cars that pass you by, the squirrels in the trees, and pets in the streets; All of these environmental stimuli are canvases for your reactions. Nothing is inherently wrong with something existing; it is the stigma that we place on it that stems from our internal discourse that informs how we perceive that something. In other words, going on walks allows you to tap into your true power. Life does not happen to you; it happens for you. You have the choice in how you choose to label what you experience.   

When I go for a walk, I can choose to react negatively to the person who may run through the stop sign as I am trying to cross the street. I can choose to have a negative reaction at the sound of kids playing in the nearby park. I can even decide to be upset at the dog barking at me as I walk pass. On the other hand, I can also choose to embrace the vivaciousness of life. Long walks connect us with the most humanistic and unique part of ourselves.

Long walks also help us to understand ourselves through introspection. One of the things that takes away from the lived experience is the fact that everything is vying for our attention. The average human being’s attention span is less than that of a goldfish. We cannot even dedicate 9 seconds to something before getting distracted by something else. This is because we are inundated by information from various sources all the time.

Question: When was the last time you gave yourself the same amount attention that you give your favorite YouTube videos? When was the last time you focused on yourself as much as you focus on the things that you allow to keep you busy? We stunt our own growth by not giving ourselves the proper amount of attention.

This is because in some cases we rather avoid ourselves for the purpose of not dealing with ourselves; yet we want other people to deal with ourselves for us. You cannot grow if you cannot face your own demons. And other people cannot save you from your demons because they have demons of their own. Introspection is the process of dealing with yourself in such a way that you begin to unravel who you are and why you are.

arrogant woman with crossed arms near white wall
Photo by Máximo on Pexels.com

Not to get too deep, but sometimes we are afraid of things that are in us that were never meant to be there in the first place. Taking a walk by yourself for yourself will allow yourself the opportunity to face yourself.

Take a long walk and disconnect from your intentional distractions. Take a long walk and connect with the authentic you.

I am not saying that going on long walks is a miracle cure, but what I am saying is that everything that we have at our disposal, even that which may seem the most insignificant has the potential to be the most life changing.

If you want to live a wealthy life, start by living a healthy one. Even if you can afford to shop at Whole Foods, what good is it if you are still seeking out the same unhealthy diet?

Going on long walks benefits you physically because it requires you to be active. It helps you emotionally because it allows you to choose how and what you react to. Long walks benefit your spiritual well-being because it allows you to connect with the environment around you, and they can have a positive impact on your mental health if you utilize the time constructively. I love a good long walk, and hopefully now, so will you.

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