How should I do a mindful walk?

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Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Try a mindful walk two to three times a week, preferably in green space like a park or nature preserve or along quiet streets. During the first few minutes of your walk, practice deep breathing. As you move and breathe rhythmically, tune into the sensations of your body. How does it feel as breath flows in through your nostrils and out through your mouth? Gradually expand your awareness of the sights, smells, and sounds around you. Notice the scent of freshly mown grass, colors of flowers, textures of trees, the crunch of fallen leaves and twigs, dappled sun—or gray clouds and the sound and feel of raindrops. How does the air outside feel against your body? How does the surface beneath your feet feel and sound? What thoughts are moving through your head? Notice them, then release them like birds flying off. Tune into your breathing for a minute or two, then expand your awareness again. A slow, mindful walk helps center and relax you. Alternatively, a brisker pace that pushes your limits can be calming and energizing at once. In this case, place more emphasis on the sensations of your body—your quickened breathing and heartbeat, the way your muscles respond when you tax them.

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Types of Walking

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.