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Walk it off! De-Stress on the Concrete (or Grass if You're Lucky)

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Feel enraged, confused, tired or (forbid) happy?

Go for a walk!

Sounds simple doesn't it?

My walks have taken on a meditative quality. I try to consciously feel every muscle move as I walk. This gets my mind off of any issue I was struggling with and I find after 20 minutes my lips melt into a zen-like smile. Try asking these questions next time you go for a walk and see if it de-stresses you.

The answer to my problems usually comes during the walk.

1) How are my legs moving? Is the power coming from the hips, the waist, the knees?
2) Am I standing straight? (Imagine you have a string attached to each earlobe and your head is being pulled up to the ceiling.
3) Are my arms helping me to move or are they flopping?
4) How are my feet landing? On the ball, the heel? Am I rolling my feet inwards or outwards?
5) What happens if I change the way I land my feet? Do I feel different leg muscle move?
6) How am I breathing? From the belly, the diaphragm?
7) How long can I walk and hold my breath for? (Try and walk eight steps with one long breath in, hold for eight steps then breathe out for eight steps).
8) What is new about the place I am walking? (I always like to spot new flowers)
9) Do I travel faster if I extend my strides or take faster shorter strides?
10) What happens if I try and change my walk to a different style? Bouncy, plodding, does that change the way I feel?

I hope you try some of these questions out and feel enlivened by consciously-walking. Long-deep breathing yogic-style also helps.

 
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