You may or may not know that I am actually a wellbeing and mindset coach among the other bits and bobs that I do. And walk for wellbeing is something that I have advocated for some time. The simple act of getting outside and moving your body can work wonders for you. Mental and physical health go hand in hand, so finding something that can support both is a big win. Plus, you don’t need a load of new kit or expertise to get into it either.
This post was inspired by the Winfields Walk & Talk campaign, highlighting the benefits of the outdoors on your physical and mental wellbeing. As a coach who loves nothing more than the outdoors, I wanted to share with you some tips to get you started too.
Walk for wellbeing
There are a number of factors that contribute to our general wellbeing. I’m not going to get all “coachey” on you, but I will share some that are useful for this article. The ones that you will benefit from by getting out to walk for wellbeing. They are simple and many of the benefits come without effort, which is the way it should be. Something that you can add to your everyday life that you actually enjoy and you don’t have to work really hard for. Oh and I’m not going to fill you with more buzz words either!
If you have ever tried to implement all or any of the “recommended” techniques for creating wellbeing, I can pretty much guarantee that you felt more overwhelmed with the amount of things you had to do than you did before you tried adding them. I know, I’ve been there! I know how it goes. Which is why my coaching focuses on the natural way we work and also helping you to find it without adding to your to-do list. Wellbeing is something we all have, not something we have to find/build/work on/*fill in the blank*! It is just that we have been trained to think that way.
The first thing I will mention is movement. As you can imagine, that is pretty high on the list when talking about walk for wellbeing. Walking is a simple activity that needs no introduction or safety kit. You can do it anywhere and whenever you want. Which is why it works out to be one of the best ways to bring something good into your life. Whether it is a brisk walk in town during your lunch break from work or a longer walk for your commute. If you need inspiration on that one, check out my reverse commute, it has been a brilliant addition to my home working lifestyle.
Community and Connection
Whether you are walking alone or in a group, one of the side effects of getting out regularly at a similar time is that you will meet people. Nice people who you might even eventually call friends. One of the biggest things that can make us lose sight of our wellbeing is loneliness. Isolation is one of the biggest causes of feeling disengaged with the world and is also a hot bed for listening to you own self-destructive thinking. Remember that time you were stuck in the house for days and you convinced yourself that you were rubbish at everything – that is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.
Getting out and meeting new people, even with a simple “hello”, really does give you that sense of being part of something. Something a bit bigger than you, which helps to put things into perspective and help you to see your “feeling good” thoughts.
You might very well think that you know all there is to know about where you live and I can promise you, hand on heart, that you don’t! Every single day, things change around us and we carry on as though they are the same. Part of the walk for wellbeing is learning something new. Exercising your brain muscles as well as those in your limbs. We spend so much time wanting to get the perfect figure, that we forget about expanding and growing our minds too. Simple things like taking in your surroundings rather than being bogged down in your thoughts makes a huge difference. You will learn about your area, find curiosity in things that you had traditionally bypasses and also see the seasons. That for me is a biggie!
Perhaps while you walk to work, you can look out for some urban nature. Like the sound of the birds or the way the light comes through the branches of the trees to make a pattern on the pavement beneath your feet. Learning and seeing new things also helps you to see how big the world is. I like to see it as putting me back into my place as being part of something much larger than me, which helps to put problems, issues or “thought attacks” into perspective.
I know that this one can sometimes be a bit of a sticky subject. Especially with us outdoorsey folk who love nothing more than heading out on a spontaneous adventure. I’m all for that, but I also know that a little bit of routine goes a long way for reducing some of the pressure that we put on ourselves. I love my reverse commute for the routine element. And no, it doesn’t get boring because of the above points: Movement, Community & Connection, Learning something new. As well as choosing to take different routes to shake things up a bit too. Variety is certainly part of the plan.
Routine is a great way of integrating a new habit into your life. Something that just comes naturally after a while and just is. It saves on having to plan something in and then going through that “I’m so rubbish” stage when you miss it or decide not to do it. Making it something that you need and want to do makes it much easier and far more likely to stick.
I promised that I would not be adding stuff to your to-do list or making you do anything out of the ordinary, but I do have one little request. That is to give it a try with an open mind. Don’t let your thinking cloud your opportunity to find something amazing. I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of “I’ve tried that, and it didn’t work”. Putting that to one side and giving it a go with a fresh clear mind will show you something new. You might discover something about yourself, feel that shift in perspective or find out something exciting about where you are. In a mind filled with other thinking, you will only see that. Think of the filter on a camera or Instagram picture.
So just to remind you, walk for wellbeing is simple, easy and a way to get back to your natural state of wellbeing. Just as long as you approach it with that open mind. Bring it in slowly, go full force into a reverse or walking commute, and see what you see in you mental and physical wellbeing.
When will you start your walk for wellbeing? Where will you go?
Let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear about your plans and journey!
This post was inspired by the Winfields Walk & Talk campaign, highlighting the benefits of the outdoors on your physical and mental wellbeing. As a coach who loves nothing more than the outdoors, I wanted to share with you some tips to get you started too. Remember to check out the series for even more inspiration. You never know, this could be the start of something very exciting!
For more Walk and Talk inspiration, check out the other great ideas over on the Winfields website.