Taking Your Legs for A Walk
Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to get up and do something? If so, you are not alone – lack of exercise and the motivation to do it, is endemic in our society.
Dog walkers seem to have got a trick or two up their sleeves, the dog needs to be walked or else it will get very fidgety, bark a lot or even pee on your carpet. We are similar, apart from, hopefully, the last point!
Ask a dog walker some more specific questions and there is generally a purpose to the walk:
- so that the dog can get exercise
- to keep it fit and lean
- to calm it down
- to get out in the fresh air
- to socialise with other dogs
- to take it for a pee break
Again, these are all valid reasons (apart from the last one again!) for us to go for a walk. What we seem to lack is the sense of purpose for a walk, other than to go for a walk. Part of mindfulness is focus – so if you give yourself a purpose for your walk, it can help motivate you and give you a sense of achievement.
One of the ways I give myself a purpose on a walk is to – ‘give my legs a walk’. If I’m sitting or standing for any length of time, I get a feeling of being stale, lacking movement. So, I promise myself to take my legs for a walk – not immediately, but when I can.
To maintain my focus when I’m walking, I think of how my legs need to work, and I use my Mindfully Connected principles to provide that focus.
Here’s what I often use:
When putting my leg forward, I expand my leg out from the foot first, allowing it to feel as though my foot is pulling me forward. I only focus on one leg at a time, otherwise it gets very confusing very quickly.
Next, I focus on the recovery movement – lifting my leg up and in towards my body. For this, the rule is inward movement comes from the inside – so, I pull my leg in from my hip. Try just these two principles (outward movement led from your periphery, and inward movement led from your inside) and feel the difference it makes. I usually add in some breathing principles: breathing in as I pull my leg in and breathing out as I extend my leg out (or sometimes vice versa). Again, focusing my mind on one leg only to start with.
Once you have tried taking your legs for a walk, you can look at other areas of your body to focus on for your walk – taking you lungs for a refresh/ clear out and so on.