Updated: Feb 21
If there’s one thing that’s happened this year for the good, it’s been being outside walking more than ever before.
Whilst the benefits of being out and connecting with nature are often cited as good for the soul, not everyone is able to enjoy or access the countryside, a beach or a large urban park. But walking in a city scape can be just as absorbing and beneficial to mental health. Walking at different times of day, in different light or weather, spending time looking at interesting or beautiful architecture you never noticed.
Even the act of looking up can give new perspective. Milton Erikson (Psychiatrist 1901-1980) used to ask his patients suffering with depression to count chimney pots as a way to get them to lift their gaze and thus their mood. Not sensible to walk around without looking down at all of course, but try it. Look up and see what you see and how you feel.
Walking with clients (not when this piccy was taken yesterday) is also a really great way to have a coaching session. Studies show walking has many physical and mental health benefits such as:
🚶♀️Lowering risk of depression
🚶♂️Improving cognitive function
🚶🏻Release of endorphins
🚶🏽Help protect brain from neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s)
But the one benefit of walking that I find most useful for walking coaching sessions is that walking is shown to improve creativity, up to 60% (Stanford 2014). Creativity is key when it comes to talking about your goals, planning how you will reach them, and your options, particularly if you are bumping up to a barrier in terms of progress.
So just in case you needed more reasons to get your shoes on 👟 there you have it.