Successful people know that exercise is important. But not all exercise is the same. There is one type of exercise that not only helps you to stay healthy, but also helps you to develop great ideas.
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, knew this secret. He practiced walking regularly. And Jobs isn’t alone. Throughout history many high-achieving individuals have walked as a form of exercise, contemplation, and problem solving.
Mental Benefits Of A Daily Walk
- Reduce stress: Walking releases stress. I often walk when I’m feeling a little stressed at work. The result is always positive.
- Boost happiness: When we walk, it’s easier to let go of worries and concerns and simply focus on the moment.
- Improve confidence: Any kind of exercise can help improve confidence. Walking is no exception.
- Prevent memory loss: The more you walk, the less absent-minded you can become.
- Boost brainpower: Some of my best ideas for writing come to me while I’m walking.
- Inspire creativity: When I’m in a creative mode, but get temporarily stuck, a walk almost always helps to bring new ideas to the surface.
- Increase relaxation: Walking can be an active form of meditation.
Physical Benefits Of A Daily Walk
According to the American Heart Association, walking helps:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
Some people tell me that they don’t have time for walking. But how can you not have time to practice something that is healthy and will help you become more productive?
Finding Time For A Daily Walk
- Get up half an hour earlier: This is a simple solution. It can work for most people. I’m a single dad to a 12 year old, so this works great for me. I can take a long early morning walk before Annie gets up.
- Walk during your lunch hour: I teach at a small college. It’s easy for me to walk the perimeter of campus. It’s about a mile and takes about fifteen minutes. I try to walk around the campus several times per week. Some days I do it twice.
- After dinner: In fair-weather seasons this is my favorite time to walk. Two to three miles after dinner is a perfect length. You might have to sacrifice some screen time, but it’s well worth it.
- A combination: This is the best strategy. Make a combination of mornings, lunch hours and evenings. On weekends you can take longer walks or hikes.
Walking is a simple habit that will support your physical health and increase brainpower and creativity. I encourage you to take a daily walk. I also encourage you to learn more about simple habits in my free eBook, The Happiness of Simple. It’s yours when you sign up for my newsletter.