Mindful Monday HEALTHY LIVING – Mindful Walking

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey! Don’t forget to do a pingback in your post so I can find you! ❤

I hope you will visit the blogs of all who joined me for the journey last week:

Judy, from Edwina’s Episodes

Vasantha, from My Sweet Nothings

Bee, from a Spirit of Healing

Carolyn, from Miscellaneous & Recommendations

Erika Kind

Mary Smith

Olga, from Author-Translator Olga

Van, from Van by the River

Willowdot 21

Brew N Spew

Annette Rochelle Aben

Helen, from This Thing Called Life – One Word at a Time

Amy Reade

My Journey with Hijab

Seasoned Sistah2


Happy Madi GRAS!

I am passionate about mindful walking! It is one of my favorite activities and it helps me keep my weight in check.  Medical wisdom shares that taking a 30-minute walk daily is beneficial to our health. I agree with this wisdom. More than just the health benefits, walking helps me get rid of stress and anxiety. When I take that walk each day, I feel like my focus improves. I get my second wind and am able to tackle my next writing project with less stress and anxiety.

When I am present in the moment walking in nature, I get in touch with my feelings without placing judgment on myself. I let thoughts come and go. I notice the beauty of the day and feel my mood surge with happiness with each step I take. I do not to listen to my phone or any other musical devices on my mindfulness walks because I want to tune into me.

Image credit: Prevention.com  The above infographic shows how walking affects our general health.

The goal of my walks is not to arrive at a particular destination.  It is not a rush to complete my walk.  Instead, I try to walk and concentrate on my breathing. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh advocates a walking meditation where your destination is the here and now.

He says, “Walk leisurely and peacefully, with soft eyes and gentle belly breaths.” The following information is from the Healthy Living Lounge.com:

“4 key steps for walking meditation:”

“Walking meditation is meditation while walking” Thich Nhat Hanh

“1: Gentle Belly Breathing:

For your body to fully participate in a walking meditation you need to be aware of your breath.  Use a gentle belly breath to calm your thoughts, relax your body, hips, elbows, muscles, legs, face, eyes and ears. Place your hands on your belly to feel it rise and fall (optional).

Breath in “resting” Breath out “softening”.

2: Walking:

Walk with soft eyes, slowly and gently. Feel the sensation of each foot as it presses down onto the earth.  Notice your foot as it lifts up, touches the ground and is lifted up again. Follow the movement of every footstep with your mind and breath.

3: Counting:

To keep your mind focused on each step and each breath Thich Nhat Hanh suggests counting your number of steps to each inhale and each exhale.    It helps prevent your mind from getting distracted with other thoughts.

1 inhale for 3 steps, 1 exhale for 3 steps. This is only a guideline and it will be different for everyone. You might be 2 steps for an inhale and 4 for an exhale.

4: Smiling:

Thich Nhat Hanh is a lover of smiles and half smiles (turn up the corners of your lips).  It is said a smile brings lightness to your feet, invites your body to relax and helps you settle more easily into the walking meditation.”

“Don’t bring anxiety and stress to the ground with your feet” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Image credit: Emily’s Quotes.com

Image credit: Mindfulness.com

Why Sitting So Much SHOULD SCARE you!

We ALL sit too much! I suppose that is the malady of writers. I have thought about getting one of those standing desks many times because it is so much better for you. I have even seen treadmills with a desk attached so you can walk while you do your work! Talk about some mindful exercise/work!

You know what, though… walking in a mindful manner allows me the opportunity to spend time with myself. I feel better knowing that I am taking charge of my health. The best thing about mindful walking is the added benefit of weight loss.

How did I do on my healthy goals last week?

I did pretty well last week. I did manage to lose one pound, which is fine with me. I had temptations in front of me again and instead of stressing over them I decided to just enjoy Ron’s birthday cake with him! I gave myself the day off. I did walk 1.25 miles on Friday, to try and make up for splurges I took in calories. It’s all in making the best choice for you!

I ramped up my walking and really pushed it hard. I walked 8.84 miles this week. Woo hoo! It just goes to prove that walking does help control your weight.

Check out the All Fitness Web.com for more walking ideas!

Image credit: Keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

My goal for this week: I am going to continue my mindful walking and eating regime. I am going to continue taking more time for myself so that I have time to regenerate my thinking. Oh, and I need to drink more water this week. That is a priority! 😀

My mantra for this week is:


Here are some more links to help you on your weight loss journey and your journey to healthy:

Hungry Girl – Healthy Chocolate Fudge

Gluten Free & More – Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake

Weight Watchers – Counting Points in Beverages Using Fruits and Vegetables, Stay Strong & Calm: The Only Yoga You Will Ever Need

Health.gov – Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020

How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!

Link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of healthy living supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday Healthy Living posts. Together we can become healthier!

TOGETHER!

Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming more healthy, together we can do it!


62 thoughts on “Mindful Monday HEALTHY LIVING – Mindful Walking

  1. “How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?”

    I only have one goal this week that relates to health and that is to drink a little more vodka than usual. I feel a cold coming on.

    But I must admit, the above is a great post. I’m beyond redemption, but for the rest of the people out there in blogland, it’s excellent advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew, you never fail to crack me up! I usually have a drink a day myself. Of course, I have to count the points for the vodka but it is a nice way to destress after a long day of writing. Heck, we’re retired… more or less, so why not enjoy ourselves a bit? Moderation is key as with everything else! LOL! Glad to see you my friend! ❤

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  2. Wow, so much again packed in one post, Colleen! Amazing what only walking can do. I heard about counting steps while walking. I did it while running and it makes absolute sense. You are also more focused on what you are doing, consciously in the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great content. Walking is great and mindful walking… indeed.
    There is some controversy about sitting down. It seems sitting down itself is not a problem, it’s the lack of physical activity and standing up instead is no better…
    http://www.sciencealert.com/sitting-for-long-periods-is-no-worse-for-your-health-than-standing-study-claims
    This is the article
    http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/10/09/ije.dyv191.full
    You are right, the key is finding a physical activity (or several) that we enjoy and doing it regularly. And happy belated birthday to your husband!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Olga, thank you for such wonderful information. Years ago, I worked as a teller in a bank. That was about 6 to 8 hours a day standing on my feet! I remember then, we were told that the excess standing was not good for us. Many of us wore support hose to help ease the cramps and pains in our legs and back. Eventually, I worked in accounting and administration and sat at a desk (I still am as a writer!) all day. I guess with everything the key is moderation. I do well when I can walk at least 2 to 3 miles a day. That seems to keep me limber and able to sit more comfortably while writing. I am going to share this info next week. Good stuff! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done again Colleen for this week. I agree with you about walking being so beneficial in many ways. When I was having CBT, the counsellor suggested that I go out for walks, especially as at that time I was quite severely depressed and just wanted to stay indoors. It really did help getting out in the fresh air and just walking. The meditative walking sounds a great idea too. You have literally walked miles this week and it has obviously paid off.
    As for me, I have lost a pound this week, but forgot to weigh myself this morning until after I was dressed and had breakfast!(Of course that makes a HUGE difference)!! However, since I started, I have lost an inch off my waist, which I am thrilled about as that is where I carry all of my weight.
    This week is going to be tricky as it iss my 50th birthday tomorrow and I am starting off the day by going out to breakfast with my sisters. I am not sure what else is planned but I do know that it will no doubt involve food!
    Thanks so much for your support and encouragement this week, Colleen, it is very much appreciated.
    Here’s to a good week for us all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy Birthday, Judy! I loved reaching my 50th birthday. It was like everything came together for me. Here is what you do… ENJOY your day. Have your treats and remember tomorrow is another day to work on your journey. Don’t overdo or you will feel like you let yourself down, and after all, you have worked so hard on losing those pounds. Life is meant to be lived so I always say indulge a little. It is always about moderation, isn’t it? The correlation between walking and how it affects depression is amazing. I feel so much better on those walks. You can do this Judy! I am so proud of you. Close your eyes and feel how much more healthy you are today than a month ago. It feels good doesn’t it? Have a wonderful birthday and a fantastic week! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mindful walking. Such good information. Walking has saved me, no other way to put it. I walk every single day, for 40-60 minutes. If I miss a day, I feel different. I don’t count steps, but the benefit of movement, especially if I can do at least 15-20 minutes outside, in all forms of weather, has changed me in so many ways. It is a mood elevator, without a doubt. Great post. Always useful info…I can testify on this one. 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    • Van, I didn’t know you were walking that much! BRAVO! I can’t agree with you more. Walking makes me feel so good. My mood soars and I feel one with the world! I think it must be all those endorphins at play making us feel HAPPY. Walking is also the number one way to combat depression. Bottom line, exercise does not have to be so strenuous to be a benefit to us. Have a lovely week. Stay warm. I see it is pretty bitter up north! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • I live in Colorado and we have some pretty cold windy days. We are about 6000 ft. up in elevation too. My plan for next winter is to get a treadmill for walking on those not so nice days. I really feel better when I do walk. Bundle up and walk if you can. You will be amazed at the difference in your eating and your sleep. Glad you are here. Have a spectacular week! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  6. When I was a very young woman, I had access to deserted country roads with no traffic. It was a time of safety & in a place where I was able to walk alone in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not sure what prompted me to do it, but I would close my eyes & count my steps. It was pure bliss to open them again to a moonlit night. I even enjoyed hearing the cicadas sing. My post for this week is: https://carolyninjoy.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/joyful-journey-to-health-2-15-16/

    Liked by 1 person

    • When we lived in Florida, we were quite rural. I walked a country road almost every day. The heat and humidity almost killed me! LOL! Anyway, now that we have moved to Colorado I find myself in a neighborhood. No worries. I am still walking. I think the key is to just keep moving. I had to start out slow but am ready to walk 2 miles a day starting today. I feel so much better doing that! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Today I hurt my back moving snow… again. I have a ton of stairs though. Without even trying — I have a narrow but tall; 3-level row house with NO bathroom on the living level… add a peanut sized bladder, and I’m on the stairs a lot. And that’s just the ones inside. Anyhow I get at least a dozen flights before work in the morning, and more when I get back home. If i’m home all day, about 30 flights. Good for the calves and fanny.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, no Teagan. When we bought our two-story I made sure there was a bathroom on both floors! I hope you move out west. The snow here is so different than back east. You know, I think it was Olga that told me about a walking regime on the stairs. I might have to indulge in that for my exercise this week. Yesterday, high winds kept me inside and today it’s ice fog! Never a dull moment in Colorado. I have a bad back too, so I can sympathize with your pain. I hope it gets better. I am so glad you stopped in! ❤

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  7. Great post, as always, Colleen. I love the infographics and quotes, and your advice on mindful walking is terrific. I haven’t walked for exercise this week. I have a serious back problem that has reared it’s ugly head again. My left leg is completely numb and I hesitate to get on the treadmill, plus the jarring of even a slow walk on the treadmill exacerbates my problem. However, to keep from sitting too much, I get up and walk into another room and and straighten a drawer or shelf. I am also doing 45-60 minutes of Pilates a day which helps ease the pain and pressure on the nerve. I am still trying to eat healthy meals and snacks with 3 light meals and 2-3 light snacks a day. Last week I lost one pound. I hope I can keep up the one pound a week until I’m able to go full steam ahead again. My fitbit helps by reminding me to get up and move, and helps me to keep tab on the calories I burn.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Colleen! First of all, congrats on your week and for all the walking you did! I learned so much from your post… The Sitting Epidemic is real… And walking is a great, free way to eradicate it ! I also practice mindful walking and find it so meditative and helpful to mind, body and soul! Have a great start to the week and thinking of you!

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    • Hello, my sweet friend, Lia! I had such a great week of walking last week and so far this week has been a bust! The wind has been howling and this morning I woke up to ice fog! LOL! I hope by this fall to get a treadmill to make it easier to walk daily. That will really help. Spring is not far off and I just have to do what I can. Have a wonderful week. I see you are going to get another storm. Be safe and stay warm! ❤

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  9. I just bought a standing desk (it’s not here yet). I don’t expect it to be an answer as much as an alternative to sitting so much when I write. I tend to work for 11:11, then get up and do hometending stuff for 3:33 (well, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few days; it varies according to my energy, my desire to hometend, and what writing projects I have going on.)

    We stopped for the winter, but my daughter and i took nightly walks together last spring, summer, and fall, and we’re looking forward to getting back to that. It’s not so much mindful walking, though, when your companion is eleven – or, rather, it’s a different kind of mindfulness!

    I love Thich Nhat Hahn’s approach to many things, and i’m thinking that I may add a second walk daily, just by myself, to practice. I also love doing tai chi, and am working on learning enough of the form that I can do it on my own outside of class. I find it intensely mindful.

    May I reblog this one, please?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, Colleen your posts always seem to come at exactly the right time. I am back on my sofa and not moving at all but I promise to myself to get back on my feet by Monday :-). My post is about balance and I haven’t felt a lot this week. http://aspiritofhealing.com/?p=261 . I try to eat all the chocolate that you do not want to eat :-). As I said or wanted to say before your ideas about mindful walking are great and I need to keep them in mind.

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