The simple act of walking can be one of the most blissful and serene moments in your day. It’s an opportunity to clear your head and be mindful of your surroundings – to celebrate and savor the small, beautiful things in your community. The vibrant marigolds, the toddler and her mother playing in the sprinklers, the mailbox with the flamingo whirligig bobbing up and down in the wind. The sweet things that are not to be missed and won’t be missed when you fully embrace the practice of walking.
To cultivate a walk that is both meditative and rejuvenating (and in every sense, a chance to stop and smell the roses), follow these 5 tips before you step out the door.
- Hydrate with a nourishing superfood smoothie. It’s important to keep your body properly hydrated, especially if you’re taking a walk in the heat of summer–nor do you want to be hungry! Blend up coconut water, leafy greens, a frozen banana, mango, and pineapple, along with some chia and flax seeds, for a nutrient-rich, tropical drink that will help you focus on your walk.
- Wear cute, comfortable clothes and shoes. Slip into a workout top and tights that will let you move freely (and not overheat), along with a pair of kicks with good support.
- Keep your phone at home (or in your pocket). When you begin you walk and step outside, think of it as entering your yoga studio. Let your phone rest. Leave your list of to-dos, your dinner plans, that spreadsheet you’ve been working on all morning behind. Limit distractions that would bring you back into the daily grind of your life and – instead open yourself up to the “distractions” of the outside world – the fireflies, the oak trees, an old jazz tune floating out of a neighbor’s cracked window.
- Set an intention for your walk. Again, think of this as a yoga practice, where you set an intention, a guiding light that helps you stay on the path you’d like to walk. It could be an intention to find gratitude, to be open and receptive to your surroundings, or to find calmness and serenity during your steps.
- Walk with a friend or your four-legged pal. Ask a friend to join your walking meditation. Instead of swapping work stories or recapping the latest episode of your favorite show though, take the time to explore your environment together. Dogs also make wonderful buddies for walking meditations since they’re fully tuned into the moment (squirrel!) and can help you connect to it as well. If your dog is being extra good on your walk, be sure to reward him or her with these Superfood Doggy Biscuits!