Walking isn’t sexy. It’s not the hot new trend or the most enticing productivity hack. Even so, it’s probably one of the most beneficial habits you could add to your routine. But don’t take my word for it. Some of the greatest minds throughout history were notorious for taking walks, from Steve Jobs to Charles Darwin, walking was a part of their routine. Here’s why.
1. Walking makes you more creative
If you’ve ever gone on a walk, it can be a surreal experience in terms of how your mind starts to think. The creativity just starts to flow, for one reason or another. In fact, a recent study done at Stanford has proved this theory out. They discovered that walking can boost your creative output by about 60%, not only in the moment, but even a few hours after.
Furthermore, nearly 81% of individuals felt more creative when they were walking. So next time you’re in need of some creative insights, get those legs moving.
2. Walking improves your mood
According to Ph.D. Robert Thayer, author of Calm Energy, “Just 10 minutes of walking… can boost your mood for two hours.” So if you’re feeling down, a walk can be a great way to change how you’re feeling. Compound that with the benefits of being outside in nature, and your walk could possibly change the entire outlook of your day.
Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.
3. Walking allows you to be present
Our lives are busy. We’re always doing something. Going on a walk can be the perfect respite from our normal day and give us a moment to simply BE. To recognize what’s happening around us, to appreciate nature, and just have a break from technology, people, and distractions.
It’s important to have moments like this during your day, and a walk can serve that purpose.
4. Walking helps you think
Along the lines of boosting our creativity, walking also helps you make sense of things that you’re going through in your life. From insights to problem solving, walking gives you a moment to be with yourself and your thoughts that result in the kind of clarity in thinking we could only wish to have all the time.
The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
Henry David Thoreau
5. Walking is perfect for communication
Walking meetings are totally a thing. It’s gained a lot of popularity, thanks to the many stories of Steve Jobs and his frequent walking meetings through his neighborhood.
More importantly, the act of walking and talking changes the dynamic of communication. It feels more informal, we’re happier, and it’s generally easier to engage with someone else in this mode. Put simply, walks can be a great place to be productive too.
6. Walking is good for your health
We’re almost always sitting in front of a computer or screen nowadays. From being at the office working to being at home watching tv. We’ve become less mobile. Moreover, new research has come out about the dangers of sitting too much (infographic here). Walking can be the perfect counter measure for all the sitting we do. And that’s not even going into the health benefits of walking as a form of exercise, which are incredible. Walking is good for your well-being, in more way’s than you know.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
As you can see, the benefits of walking are many, so it’s a great habit to start building into your daily routine.
Try going for a walk first thing in the morning or in the evenings after you get back from work. Just a quick 20 minute trek around your neighborhood could change your day for the better.
Originally published at alyjuma.com