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May 16, 2008

Walking In The Moment

OK, time for my daily walk. Here I go. Now, what do I need to pick up at the store for dinner tonight? Let's see, the deadline for that big work project is Thursday.

While you walk, is your mind racing through a never ending to-do list or chronicle of worries. There's a better strategy. Its called mindful walking . and it can turn your daily stroll into a way to relax and re-energize. As you walk, you can focus your attention on the moment to moment experience of walking.

Any types of walking can help you manage your weight, decrease your risk of heart disease and diabetes , and increase your aerobic fitness. mindful walking can also: Help you relax, you give your mind a break from processing dozens of thoughts at once.
Teach you to begin to approach life with more mind full attitude. You can learn to carry this kind of focused thinking into the rest of your day.

Make your next walk to a new mood-enhancing experience.

Start with a moment of stillness. Before you take one step, set the goal of taking focused walk. Give your mind a moment to slow down.

Connect your mind and body. As you walk, consciously feel the motion of the weight transferring from the hill to a ball of foot. Feel muscles in your calves and thighs working. Bend you arms and take on a gentle swinging motion. Aim for a fluid, consistent stride and enjoy its rhythm.
Breath. Follow each breath in and out. Focusing on breathing can help you stay in the moment. Experience your surrounding. Perhaps you smell the bloom of lilacs, feel a gentle breeze on your forehead, or hear children playing nearby. Recognized it's experience. Mind your thoughts. If an unwanted thoughts pops into your head, recognize it and then let it float away. Don't react to or judge the thought. Simply refocus your attention on your body motion, your surrounding and breathing

After you walk, take a moment to reflect. What sights and sounds did you see and hear. How did your body feel? Resolve to bring this expanded awareness into the rest of the day- and into tomorrows walk.