Mind-Body Walking: Medicine for Body and Spirit

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Woman sprinting uphill

Henry David Thoreau was aware of mind-body walking more than 100 years ago when he wrote, "I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit."

Gloria Keeling, president of Fitness Professionals International in Maui and a mind-body expert, offers this definition of a mind-body workout. "It's exercise with an internal component," says Keeling.

That could mean focusing on breathing while strength training or listening to the rhythm of the water while swimming. Walking just happens to provide one of the greatest vehicles for melding mind with body. "We're wired to walk," says Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of The Spirited Walker and a master's level racewalker.

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