Activities to Bring Mind and Body in Tune
To experience mind-body walking, try adding these activities to your walks:
Breathing—"This is such an important part of spirited walking because it gives you physical energy and the meditative aspect," Kortge says. Focus on breathing into your belly so that you feel your stomach expand. Then establish a rhythm with your steps. Consider saying "in, two, three," as you inhale and "out, two, three" as you exhale. Or count in four's if that feels more natural. When Kortge does this, she breathes in through her nose and out through her mouth, pursing her lips to control the exhale.
Visualizing—Think of a major goal that you're working toward. Maybe you're writing a book or trying to lose 20 pounds. If so, walk as if you've accomplished these goals. In your mind, congratulate yourself for having met your goal or tell yourself how wonderful it feels. "Feel the rush in your body, that incredible high that would be gushing through your limbs," Keeling says.
Repeating affirmations—To quell your self-talk, create a positive phrase and think of it as you walk. Say a prayer if you want. Just keep it simple, using one or two-syllable words.
For example, you might recite "I am here, I am breathing" one syllable or word per step. When you do this, you'll pull yourself into the present. You'll also start breathing more deeply which will boost your energy. Most importantly, you'll return home refreshed and invigorated.