Eco Living and the Revival of Walking: Steps Toward a Healthier Planet and YouOct 31, 2023 04:00PM ● By Jessica Scofield-Chichester, PhD
Walking, humanity’s timeless mode of transport, has dramatically dwindled due to swift urbanization and technological progress. As our planet wrestles with ecological dilemmas, a return to this fundamental activity becomes essential. The unity of eco living and walking fosters both our health and planetary wellness. Let’s journey through the extensive advantages of walking, examining how weaving it into our routines is a choice in favor of sustainability.
A Mismatch of Evolution and The Cruciality of Walking
Bizarrely, humans are impeccably adapted to an environment that scarcely exists today. Moving from vast landscapes and lush forests to towering buildings and jam-packed streets, our advantageous modern conveniences have also entrapped us in an “evolutionary mismatch”, as biologists phrase it.
Here, walking emerges not just as a catalyst for personal health, but a pivot toward a more ecologically mindful lifestyle. Envisage the far-reaching benefits to both our health and the environment by choosing to walk even short distances, rather than resorting to fuel-intensive cars or public transport: substantial cuts in carbon emissions, eased traffic congestion and diminished resource use.
Treading Toward Health
Viewing from a health lens, walking is intrinsically tied to our wellness. Contrast the typical American, who barely achieves 5,000 steps a day, with our ancestors or indigenous populations who effortlessly surpassed 15,000 steps. This discrepancy illuminates not only an evolutionary mismatch but also the health repercussions stemming from our sedentary ways.
Our step counts and speed decline further as we age. By 60, our pace is 33 percent slower than in our 40s. However, walking stands out as a profound remedy for numerous contemporary health issues—from chronic back pain to knee complications—having demonstrated its efficacy in various studies as a potent, non-medical therapy.
Walking: An Eco Living Choice
Eco living champions choices that curb our carbon footprint and minimize resource use, and walking is emblematic of these ideals. Choosing to walk implies:
• Reducing carbon emissions: Less automotive travel equates to lower greenhouse gas output and purer air.
• Championing green spaces: Less reliance on vehicles fosters advocacy for additional pedestrian areas, parks and greenery.
• Resource conservation: Reduced fuel demand, less road degradation and fewer sprawling parking lots.
While endorsing traditional practices like walking for health and environmental prosperity, it’s crucial to also highlight the role of modern biotechnologies. Contemporary technologies such as the Sonix, can mimic exercise benefits within just 20 minutes (and just 20 minutes simulates a whopping two-hour cardio workout), magnifying the rewards derived from physical activities.
While not intended to supplant walking or routine exercise, they can complement our endeavors, particularly for those hindered by mobility issues or tight schedules. Check with your local wellness center to see if they carry devices such as the Sonix.
Infusing More Walking into Daily Life
Recognizing the benefits of walking is pivotal, but integrating it into our lives is equally vital.
• Start gradually. New to walking? Begin with shorter distances and gently expand your scope.
• Choose to walk: For nearby errands, opt to walk rather than drive.
• Purposeful walking: Merge activities. Walk while enjoying an audiobook, podcast or tunes. Make it your “me time”.
• Embed walking into work: Take brisk breaks with a walk around the block or choose stairs over elevators.
• Group walks: Participate in walking groups or arrange walks with loved ones. Socializing can morph walking from a task into entertainment.
• Adopt a standing desk: Although it is not walking, standing desks can disrupt prolonged sitting and boost your posture.
• Explore varied terrains: Engage in walks across parks, forests or trails. Different surfaces engage different muscles and bring diverse experiences.
In a time enthralled by speed and ease, deliberately slowing down to walk may seem paradoxical. However, it is a backward step urgently needed for both our health and our planet. Walking not only bridges the divide between our evolutionary makeup and the environmentally aware world we strive to build, but also stands as a simple, sustainable and profoundly impactful declaration for our well-being and our surroundings.
Jessica Scofield-Chichester, PhD, Rev is the co-founder and CEO of Haute Healing Oasis, in Stamford. She has been in the health, wellness and spiritual science field for over 25 years, is a Hall of Fame athlete and has been a kundalini, yoga and intuitive health and fitness coach for over 20 years. Connect at 203-595-5304, [email protected] and HauteHealingOasis.com.
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