Soul Sculpting Project: Walking for Soul, Mind, and Body
I started walking for my soul. When I was 15 I began a friendship with God and I began walking.
I have walked in suburban neighborhoods, urban streets, rural roads, ocean beaches, forest trails, high desert land and the high country. The high country (above timberline) is the best. For me it is a thin place between the earth and the heavens.
I never walk alone. God is always there.
I talk (think) to God while I walk. I talk about whatever in on my mind. I talk about the things I notice around me. I ask God questions. I listen for answers.
My walks are the best food I know of for my soul.
A few years back, when I began writing more, I noticed that walking was good food for my mind, as well. On a walk I could formulate my thoughts more effectively and make creative connections.
A study out of Stanford supports my discovery. They found that when people are walking, either on a treadmill or outdoors, walkers are 60% more creative than when sitting around. This research found that “walking opens up the free flow of ideas and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity”. (Marily Oppezzo and Daniel L. Schwart)
Walking is also good for my brain’s health. It increases the production of new brain cells, improves memory, and boosts cognitive function.
Walking, especially in nature, is good for my mental health.
Another study from Stanford discovered that a 90-minute walk in nature yielded changes to walkers brains that can protect against depression. (Greg Bratman et.al.)
Most recently I discovered what most people already know. Walking is good for my body.
Here are a few of the benefits my body gets from walking:
- increase cardiovascular fitness,
- strengthened bones and muscles
- reduced excess body fat
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Lower fasting blood sugar (glucose)
reduced risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
“Multiple studies have proven that walking is the best thing we can do to improve our overall health, and increase our longevity and functional years.” Robert Sallis M.D. Kaiser Permanente
I invite you this week to take a short walk. “But,” you may ask, “don’t you need to take a long walk to get any benefit? What good is a short walk?”
Sara Snodgrass and her associates tested that question and discovered that when we walk with long strides, swinging arms, and head up for just 3 minutes we will experience “significantly higher vigor and lower depression and fatigue.” (Research:1986)
Soul Sculpting Project: Take a Little Walk
Take a three minute walk for your soul or mind or body.
“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.” Soren Kierkegaard
So what are you doing for the next three minutes? I bet you have the time.
You could stand-up and make it happen. Right now. See what you discover.
Just 3 minutes and then you can get right back to your work on your device.