Walking offers something that everyone needs right now: the chance to get out of our heads.
3 min read
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Having trouble finding the silver lining for the events of 2020? The pandemic and the quarantine that followed hit people in different ways. Some of us suffer emotionally, others financially. But the light at the end of this tunnel could just sit between our ears. That is, our ability to rethink almost anything.
Employers are rethinking commercial real estate. Educators rethink teaching in the classroom. And many of us are rethinking our health. In particular, we were reminded of the importance of putting one foot in front of the other.
Strange walkers don't look so strange now
Before the quarantine, walking was a form of exercise usually associated with soccer mothers doing laps of the cul-de-sac. Or maybe a group of baby boomers rocking fanny packs and hitting the mall with three pound weights in hand. Some of us (including me) shook our heads and laughed from afar. But when the gyms closed, walking got cool again.
"When Covid hit, I had to rethink everything, including my health," says Matt Buder Shapiro, co-founder and CMO of healthcare startup Medpilot. “My training regime had to change dramatically. I usually spent four to five hours a day calling to make sure I was on the move for my conference calls. I currently take an average of almost 30,000 steps a day, almost exclusively in my apartment, which is less than 1,000 square meters. "
Shapiro is not a baby boomer or a mall walker. He is a 30 year old entrepreneur trying to keep himself and his business as healthy as possible.
Related: How To Train Your Brain … With Practice!
If the shoe fits, go for it
Gyms are a safe haven for many of us, but to use them you will generally need a membership and available equipment. Most importantly, the gym is open. But all you need to walk is a good pair of shoes and the ability to get off the couch.
"I have a feeling that people who aren't runners but use equipment like ellipticals for cardiovascular exercise in the gym have started walking," says Brad Stulberg, author of The Passion Paradox: A Guide to All In, succeed and discover the benefits of an unbalanced life. “Walking has a positive effect not only on physical health, but also on mental health, as this can be done by other people with adequate distance or wearing a mask. And it doesn't require any equipment or maintenance outside of a pair of shoes. "
Let your feet help your head
In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, walking offers something for everyone that they need right now: the chance to get out of their mind.
If you're like me, the cobwebs go away when you start walking. It's like a stretch for our brains that allows things to loosen up – hence the popularity of walking meetings. And when you return to your computer to write or edit something, your eyes can usually see the answers more clearly.
It's like shaking an Etch A sketch, and the best part is that you don't have to shake things up dramatically. Just start by putting one foot in front of the other.
Related: Entrepreneurship was tough before COVID-19. Now the mental limits of the founders are being tested.