Try a Walk
“A time to clear your mind can have so many benefits. "Healing Walks for Hard Times: An 8-Week Program, Quiet Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, & Get Your Life Back" is Carolyn Scott Kortge encouraging readers to take control of their health and soul, through the simple act of walking. Kortge's guide is an excellent read for anyone willing to stride for their conscience.”
— Midwest Book Review
15-Minute Miracle Mood-Mender Walk
from Healing Walks for Hard Times
Sometimes, when the pull of a bad mood begins to obscure your view, or a wave of doubt washes over you, there’s a moment of choice. Do you make an effort to push away from the current, or surrender to the tides of melancholy? Resistance is never easy, but if you put on your walking shoes, you have a chance of escaping the downward eddy.
Try this fifteen-minute mood-mender walk whenever you feel hopeless or helpless. Research has shown that ten minutes of walking at a pace that invigorates breathing can produce up to two hours of heightened energy. An increase in energy correlates closely with a lighter mood.
1. Warm up. Three minutes. Walk at a steady pace, aware of your feet making smooth connection with the surface below you. Focus on breathing by mentally repeating IN-OUT as you inhale and exhale.
2. Speed up. Ten minutes. Pick up the tempo so you feel like you are in a hurry. To activate the body’s feel-good chemicals, you need to move at a rate that elevates breathing and heart beat. Find the pace that fits your own level.
As you walk, swing your arms at your sides to increase circulation of oxygen and energy. Mentally, support your effort by creating a cadence with your steps, counting to yourself, One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four, as you walk. A cadence strengthens cooperation of mind, muscles and breath.
3. Warm down. Two minutes. Slow to a steady, easy walking pace. Mentally, return to IN-OUT to regulate your breathing as you gradually return to a normal respiration rate.
4. Notice how you feel. Check your energy. It’s likely that you will note an increase in energy. This information is significant because it is evidence you can impact energy and mood with a short, vigorous walk. Energy is a core element of mood and mood is a key index of physical and psychological well-being. When you raise energy, you raise mental and physical resourcefulness.
Find more ways to boost well-being in the eight-week walking program outlined in Healing Walks for Hard Times. Each week presents walks that impact mood, heart health, weight loss, emotional pain of grief, cancer, self-image and more. Buy the Book!