Fresh air and exercise are a dream team: walking detoxifies the lungs, gives you glowing skin and instantly makes you happier.
How many steps should we take every day?
According to the World Health Organization it’s 10,000. This figure dates back to a 1964 advertising campaign for Manpo-kei, a Japanese pedometer, to improve people’s overall health. Our bodies benefit from all kinds of physical activity – it enhances our cognitive function, alleviates physical stress and maximizes quality of life. Modern life often distances us from our physical needs, so it’s important to recognize the body’s signals and target daily exercise.
Why is daily exercise so important?
Walking 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent of 6-8km, provides the body with a counterbalance to sitting for long periods of time – and is the perfect addition to a workout or fitness routine. But covering distance on foot has even more positive effects on our overall health.
When we walk or jog, preferably in daylight, our bodies release more endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine – also known as ‘happy hormones’. As a result, we feel more balanced, creative, productive, and focused. These important neurotransmitters can even act as a preventative against depressive moods.
Here’s what happens to your body when you run frequently
On a physical level, regular exercise increases breathing rate, improves oxygenation, and promotes blood flow throughout the body. This, in turn, stimulates the lungs to cleanse themselves. When we walk in nature we breathe in air with significantly fewer pollutants, and more oxygen from the trees.
This clears the respiratory tract of environmental toxins, harmful organisms and irritants. Deep inhaling and exhaling, as also taught in yoga practice, supports this cleansing process. The result? Our lungs are relieved, stress is reduced and energy levels increased.
Simultaneously, the muscles benefit from taking so many steps. The legs and buttocks are activated, back pain is relieved and posture is improved. The oxygen boost from physical activity in the fresh air also benefits skin cell regeneration, and the complexion looks fresh and healthy.
Establish new exercise habits
We can easily accomplish a number of the recommended steps through routine activities in our everyday lives. However, body awareness can also be sharpened through mindfulness: what is my body telling me? If you feel tired, tense or lack drive, and you learn how to interpret it, imbalances in the body can be balanced through movement and nutrition. The best way to do this is through rituals and movement practices that are suitable for you.
5 tips to incorporate more steps into your daily routine
01 Take the stairs instead of the elevator
02 Park your car in the space furthest from the entrance
03 Get off the bus one stop before your destination
04 Break up chores at home by walking extra steps to take dishes or groceries to the kitchen
05 Walk to appointments or when making phone calls
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