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Walking Your Way to a Healthier Mind, Body, and Soul

Walking Your Way to a Healthier Mind, Body, and Soul

You can walk the dog, walk with the kids, or just take a stroll by yourself. However you do it, walking is good for the mind, body, and soul, and here’s why:

  • Walking helps you manage your weight, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  • It is a gentle, low-impact exercise and easy on the joints.
  • Walking improves circulation; increases your energy level; improves sleep, mood, and sense of well-being.
  • It is free. You don’t need a health club membership or special equipment. A good pair of walking shoes will do the trick.
  • Walking with family, friends, or neighbors can be a social outlet.
  • You don’t have to go anywhere in particular, although that’s certainly efficient; it is more about the journey.
  • It is a good way to calm and declutter your mind. It will get you out of the house and into the great outdoors, where you can let your thoughts roam freely. (Turn off that cell phone!)

It is common knowledge that exercise is important to human beings, but most of us either can’t manage to squeeze it in to our busy day or invent excuses not to do so. I’m no exception. I am often sidelined by symptoms of multiple sclerosis and am much too slow to take advantage of the rebound.

If you have physical symptoms that make a long walk impossible or inadvisable, perhaps you can substitute with a stroll around your own backyard. Experts say that 30 minutes of exercise a day is ideal, but if you can’t, how about a five-minute walk? If it is not enough to get the physical benefits of a full workout, you’ll still feel better about yourself for putting in the effort, and you might be able to gradually lengthen your walks and quicken your pace.

When the weather isn’t cooperating and I feel the need to get moving, I’ve got my ace in the hole — WiiFit Plus. Full disclosure here… I am not affiliated in any way with WiiFit and stand to gain nothing by mentioning the product. Nevertheless, it has proven to be an effective tool in my fitness plan.

The WiiFit includes some simple games of balance and low-impact movement. My favorite is the island bicycling game. It is called bicycling, but walking in place is how you create the movement. Some days, it is almost impossible to get a handle on MS symptoms. How far can you walk before your legs stop cooperating? That unknown can stop you from heading out on the walk in the first place. Not so with the WiiFit; you can plunge right in and quit whenever the time is right. I find that 30 minutes go by very quickly, with the same physical and mind clearing benefits of walking outdoors.

Walk. Walk somewhere. Walk nowhere. Be creative. If you are physically able, you owe it to yourself to use those marvelous legs to walk your way to a healthier body, mind, and spirit… one step at a time.

Read more: Blogs, Conditions, Fitness, General Health, Health, Living with MS, Mental Wellness, Multiple Sclerosis, Natural Remedies, , ,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

478 comments

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5:18AM PST on Jan 14, 2014

Just do it, it's good for you :)

3:46AM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

thanks

3:31PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

I brought a WiFit for that very reason, I have some major health issues and althought I love going walking, there are many times I found although a low impact on your joints when your joints are swollen and your finding it hard due to a heart problem, going out walking can be difficult, but you can go on the wii and you do what you can, at least exercising as little or as much and being at home to rest gives you other options.

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Best of all, it does not cost anything to go on a delightful walk especially when Spring is in the air and one can walk by the river or go to a rural area and have a scenic walk in a lovely forested area.

12:47PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Tx. Walking sounds good.

7:58AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Good reminder. Thank you.

6:29AM PDT on May 12, 2012

Best way to clear your mind and mood.

4:02AM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

thanks, dogs really help and you meet nice people on the way

4:08AM PST on Feb 10, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

10:17AM PST on Feb 9, 2011

Not that it stands for much, but I can say from personal experience that this is completely right! I'm a student hoping to get into writing in the future, and whenever I'm stuck there's absolutely nothing better for me than going for a walk. Sunny weather is better, but even in the freezing cold or the rain is good for me. Just anything where you can get out, not feel shut in or constrained, and just clear your head for a bit. The only bad part is that by the end of the walk I've often forgot all the ideas I had when I was out! Taking notes while on the move is quite hard :)

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