When was the last time you went for a walk? I don’t mean a walk to get you from A to B, I mean a purposeful, me time kind of walk.
Did you walk alone or with others? Can you remember how you felt afterwards? Relaxed maybe? Calm? Excited? Uplifted even?
Over many years I have realised that the feeling I get after a walk is mostly always a positive one. Walking brings clarity, space and a chance to reflect. It also encourages my imagination and creativity. Recently, I came up with five types of walks that encourage us to walk with intention, purpose and for our well-being.
The Release Walk
When we are really under the pump and experiencing overwhelm, our minds go a hundred miles an hour, even while we walk. I have been on walks where I have been in such a state of overload that I have written notes in my phone or emailed myself for later. I released the unwanted contents of my brain as the walk progressed. I might have started my walk a bit edgy but by the time it ended, I felt calmer and less anxious.
The Sanctuary Walk
This long solitary walk somehow creates a state of mind I affectionately call Utopia. This walk gets us to a point where we actually stop thinking. The conscious mind switches off and we find ourselves almost in a trance-like state. It’s usually when I am going through an imaginary play list in my head (with no headphones or music playing) that I realise I have reached Utopia, the Sanctuary within. On a multi-day trek, this can take days to achieve.
The Vent Walk
Walking with a friend, allows something more than walking alone. It offers the chance to chat. And vent. Conversation can be intense, funny, detailed and fast-paced, particularly if you are moving your feet as quickly as the discussion topics. When I see two walkers pass me talking dramatically to each other, fighting to get a word in, I smile. It’s definitely a Vent Walk.
The Vibe Walk
It’s all about the vibe right? Sometimes the best thing to raise your vibe is to get those tunes cranking. This is a great way to find a happy place particularly if you need some distraction from an unhealthy thought pattern or a difficult day. Be mindful of not having the tunes too loud though. You need to hear what is going on around you to keep you safe, both from traffic and people also using the footpath.
The Nature Walk
Walking on trails gives a deeper sense of connection to the earth, ourselves and other people. There are plenty of beautiful spots in the foothills of Adelaide that are not far to get to for you to enjoy this kind of walk. Bonding and sharing the challenge of a hilly walk while discovering a rare bird, a beautiful plant, flower or a stunning view is always more fun in a group.
Taking time out to walk might seem like one more thing to add into our already busy lives but the physical and mental benefits are huge.
No matter which type of walk you might identify with, all serve to give you something that is so important – me time.
So what kind of walk are you looking for today?