In my last blog, I shared my challenge to declutter 100 items – any items – in the following week. I’m happy to report that I got it done, and then some. I’m really pleased that I was able to accomplish my goal, and am planning on doing it again soon. It was a great way to motivate myself incorporating some of the well-researched benefits of coaching, which started with Creating Awareness. For me in this case, the awareness is that having too much “stuff” clutters my mind and spirit.
Goal planning, having a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) designing actions around the goal, and accountability – all are necessary for goal attainment. When you are ready to move ahead, incorporating these concepts sets you up for success!
On another, entirely different note, I’m grateful that winter finally seems to be over here in Colorado. It’s been great to get outdoors again for walking and hiking on the trails surrounding us.
The physical benefits of walking are by now well known, but did you know that walking also benefits the brain in important ways? Research shows that being out in nature significantly benefits mood, and exercise is often prescribed as an effective adjunct to treatment for depression. And there’s more. Here are some other ways that walking benefits brain health.
- Studies have shown that walking can improve overall cognitive function, and reaction times. It can even help you perform better on tests.
- Regular walking boosts energy and reduces fatigue.
- Walking strengthens the hippocamus, that part of the brain that is associated with memory. Even going for a brief walk can increase the size of the hippocamus, something to remember as we age.
- Walking increases the release of endorphins in the brain, the “feel-good” neurochemical that boosts mental health, and reduces stress. Given that the World Health Organization has named stress a global epidemic, anything we can do to keep it at bay is important.
- Being consistent with regular exercise is a confidence-booster. Each time we complete our walking commitment, we feel better about ourselves which gives us the momentum we need to do it again the next day. Being successful in this one area of our life carries over into other areas of our lives, a win-win.
You don’t have to commit to an intensive walking program to begin to reap the benefits, either. An article in The New York Times in October of 2018 (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/well/move/exercise-brain-memory-fitness-cognitive.html) reports research that shows that even a 10 minute walk can be beneficial for brain health.
Next time you are out for a walk, notice the difference in how you feel afterwards. Keep doing it and you are sure to feel better and better over time.
Thoughts? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.