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Feeling Tired, Restless or Drained? Grab Your Shoes and Step Outside!

Snowdrops

In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it's easy to forget how important connecting with nature is for both mind and body. The benefits of walking in the fresh air extend far beyond just putting your shoes on and stepping outside. Making time for a regular walk can have a profound impact on both your physical and mental well-being. As we start to see hints of spring, now is the perfect time to step outside, find a lovely spot and have a stroll.


Young Lady walking outside

Photo courtesy of Katherine


Why not grab your shoes and step outside? One of the immediate benefits of walking outside is its boost to cardiovascular health. As you walk, your heart rate increases, promoting better circulation and contributing to a healthier cardiovascular system. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure.


Blackboard message

A regular walk is an accessible form of exercise for people of all fitness levels, making it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their heart health; just 10 minutes can make a big difference.


Fresh air, laden with oxygen, is essential for your body's well-being. Walking in nature, you breathe deeper, taking in more air than when we're sedentary. The increased oxygen intake enhances lung capacity and health and improves our posture.


Walking boots

On top of that, exposure to sunlight (when it's not cloudy!) during your outdoor walks stimulates vitamin D production, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones and supporting the immune system.


Beyond the physical benefits, outdoor walks have a profound impact on our overall well-being. Nature has a wonderful calming effect on the mind, significantly reducing stress and anxiety. Walking amidst greenery or near water has been linked to improved mood and decreased feelings of depression.


Dog running across field

The rhythmic nature of walking also provides an opportunity for mindfulness, allowing us to clear our minds and focus on the present - seeing the first snowdrops and daffodils or hearing the birds singing their songs. As a yoga teacher, being in the moment is one of the most important parts of our teaching.

Girl in yellow jacket walking through field

The simple act of taking a walk can be a powerful tool for improving your overall health. Whether you aim to enhance cardiovascular fitness, boost your mood, or enjoy the social aspects of walking, the benefits of taking a stroll are many and accessible to everyone.


Sheep in a meadow

A daily walk is a wonderful way to be part of the changing seasons - it's one of my favourite parts of the day…although perhaps not when it's raining!


Top Tips for Enjoying a Walk 


Make sure the shoes you're wearing are comfortable and have a good grip. Be wary of trainers with a wedge at the back that tapers towards the front of the shoe; this automatically tilts your hips forward and misaligns your entire body. Many popular trainers have this wedge, so make sure you check before you buy.


Man walking through woodland wearing hiking boots

Do a couple of gentle stretches before and after your walk - these are my favourites:


Standing Forward Fold

  1. From standing, create a little softness in the knees and fold yourself forward towards the floor.

  2. Hands can dangle and touch the floor, or you can hold opposite elbows and have a gentle sway.

  3. Stay here for five long breaths, and come up slowly on an inhale.


Practicing Yoga

Standing Quad Stretch

  1. Hold onto a countertop or find a wall to touch your fingertips for balance.

  2. Bend one knee by holding your ankle with one hand and gently pull your foot toward your bum.

  3. Hold the pose for five long breaths and repeat on the other side.


Lady practicing Yoga Pose

Butterfly Pose

  1. Find a spot on the floor to sit on.

  2. If your hips are tight, sit on a folded blanket to give you some lift and more space to get into the pose.

  3. Bring the soles of your feet together and allow the knees to fall out to the sides - push the feet further away from the body to decrease the intensity.

  4. Stay here for five long breaths.


Yoga Pose

Enjoy your walk!

Ilona



Ilona Coryndon Burns

Yoga Instructor, Salisbury






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