Project Practitioners > Go For A Walk

Go For A Walk

By Chris Cook, PMP

READ TIME: 5 minutes

 

My dog is quite active to say the least. Always on alert, and any movement or noise needs to be investigated immediately otherwise unrest. In trying to provide an outlet for her, walking seems to be helping in this constant need to see what is happening.

She gets outside, smells the animals and other dogs, and starts to pant. These walks also file down her front paw nails that she will not let a human touch unless put under anesthesia. She is a special mut with her own way of doing things.

Normally, I let her out in the yard and keep the door open so she has access to both indoor and outdoor activities. Squirrels have made a habit of running along the fence line and torturing her endlessly with their presence. She has yet to give up the fight.

The walks seem to calm her need to be on alert at all times and investigate every little moment of difference. If you, like me, have a similar reaction to every notification and alert received throughout the day, I recommend taking a walk.

Below are some of the benefits, obvious and not so obvious, to walking even for a moment:

 

Better Health

The following are health benefits of walking we all realize or feel:

  • Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • Stronger bones and improved balance

The list above is not all-inclusive but provides an overview of the health benefits of walking. Moving around improves your day undoubtedly. Taking a dog or spouse along with you only makes those steps even better.

Ten thousand steps per day seem to be a goal most people have. It provides a great target to reach while keeping the activity low impact where it does not seem like a burden. At this pace, dogs can walk forever, especially a pup who is curious.

Your physical health impacts your mental health. The better you feel physically, the likelihood of you feeling better emotionally increases. Look good, feel good. Walking positively impacts your physical health, which trickles down to your overall health.

 

Boost Creativity

Those ‘ah-ha’ moments occur in the space where not much is happening. Your ideas are allowed to breathe and be free. Walks provide that time just to think. Nothing else is happening besides putting one foot in front of the other, an activity in which the body takes for granted.

The phone is off. The computer is closed. No one is in your ear. You are alone. Just you and the pathway. Creativity is at an all-time high in those moments. You start to link one activity to the next. One team member fits better on a different squad, and that shift is easier than you thought.

You get inside your head in a good way. You are not overthinking but thinking clearly. No distractions. Nature provides the perfect background for your thoughts. Take a note pad along for jotting down ideas. Your phone only provides a distraction. The second you open the Notes app, you start to check other notifications.

Walking is thoughtless. Therefore, your thoughts can begin.

 

Create Stillness

Ryan Holiday’s book Stillness is The Key emphasizes the beauty of creating stillness in your life. The three areas he focuses on are mind, spirit, and body. Walks incorporate all three areas.

Your mind does not need to think about walking. It is an activity you have performed for years, likely decades, of your life. One foot in the front of the other occurs naturally. Your mind can empty. Your spirit is still in nature. There is a natural connection between you and your surroundings. You harken back to your caveperson days. Your body, while in motion, becomes still.

The lack of distraction is crucial in your decision making. Everything slows down. You are in the zone. The stillness created provides an environment rich in ideas. Tasks and activities start to align naturally. Without the excess noise, you can focus on the essential. Resolutions are obvious. Conflicts are meaningless. Reactions are nonsense.

Become still to unlock the potential.

 

Takeaways

Walking a dog is such an obvious necessity when you own one. Every day, that dog wants to go outside, go to the bathroom, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells. This idea is never related to the person walking the dog.

It can be just as soothing and beneficial for the owner too. A dog can clear its mind from distraction when tired, pottied, and fed. Those three elements to a dog’s life are life itself. When you cross those off, there are only naps in the future.

For humans, apply the same strategy. When you are exercised, fed, and pottied, you can sit down and focus on the tasks, plans, and strategies. If one of those things is yet to be satisfied, there is a natural distraction. While it is not polite to go to the bathroom outside, the other two aspects of that triad can be completed on a walk.

Go outside. Feel the sun on your face. Leave the phone on your desk. Clear your mind. Embrace the stillness of a walk.

 

https://www.crcpress.com/The-Entrepreneurial-Project-Manager/Cook/p/book/9781498782357



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