At this time of year, as I find myself more and more with a cup of tea in my chair, rather than sunning myself by the window, I find it more important than ever to remember to stay active. Healthy bodies make for healthy minds, as the Ancient Greeks tell us!
With that in mind, I want to talk to you all about walking today. In the whole of my working life and indeed my personal life, few things have been as important to my health and success as my habit of taking lots of walks.
I find that walks clear my head, especially after sitting down to a meal. They’re a way to reset between lunch and the afternoon’s work, or to decompress after a eating a dinner in a rush after work because hunger wouldn’t afford the time to cook something more deliberate.
I’ve also found that the best meetings, brainstorms, and personal chats have come on walks with colleagues, friends or mentors. When we’ve taken the initiative to change the setting from a blank whiteboard to a flower bed, from a conference table to the walking path, every single conversation has been noticeably more productive.
I believe several factors are at work. First and foremost, you’re getting your blood flow going, which stimulates your brain. You’re also opening up all those joints that have sat at right angles, stifling all your internal systems, not least of which your creativity. Second, you’re switching things up. Staring at a screen or a blank wall doesn’t give your brain much to work with. Walking outside, watching a squirrel or listening to a bird or two will shake things up and help get you out of a creative rut.
So, I encourage you: instead of sitting down for coffee this week, take it to go, and wander a new path! For more info on the top rated shoes for plantar fasciitis, specifically if you suffer from it, or if you know someone with plantar fasciitis, check out bestwalkingfeet.com.
Next time you’re in need of inspiration at work, walk around the grounds, or simply take a stroll around the building to collect your thoughts. When you’re stressed at home, grab your favorite sweater, leave your phone on the counter, and take a walk. For your next 1:1 or focus group, encourage your team to try something new, and have an adventure together. I’ve found that team dynamics change completely when you’re on a walk. Go here for quality, tried and tested walking sneakers and shoes.
You’ll be amazed by the clarity of mind you develop. You’ll also, I suspect, discover lots of little moments of inspiration which won’t come to you when you’re sitting at your desk and agonizing.
It’s all a journey friends, so think “health to wealth!” It’s true in more ways than one.
-Make sure to take notes when you come back. It’s easy to get distracted coming back into the house or office, so take a moment to sum up any thoughts you’ve had, or solutions you’ve found on your walk before you forget them.
-Make sure you’ve got some good shoes. Heels are not your friend for walks of inspiration! Look for something comfortable, with good support and whatever traction you’ll need for your area. This site usually has some good options, if you’re in need of a new pair.
-Remember that there’s a threshold of usefulness for “thinking walks.” Think of it like a power nap. A nice, quick walk clears the mind and gets you thinking straight. A longer walk can allow your mind to wander a bit too much, and you may not be able to get to work straight away when you return. Aim for 15-30 minutes.