Know what else makes me (and lots of other people) feel restless? Sitting in an office. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself at your workplace (OK, read through this first, and then close your eyes!). Are you sitting in front of a computer? Are you surrounded by four walls? Can you hear the buzz of the florescent lighting? You yawn and find it difficult to concentrate. You go for a second (or third?) cup of coffee to make it through the afternoon, yet your creativity is lacking and you just can’t find a solution to the problem at hand. Sound familiar?
Now, close your eyes once again and vision yourself as a child, running around outside barefoot on a summer day. Picture you talking and laughing with a friend. The sun is bright and warms your skin. Birds are chirping in the trees and you feel a slight breeze. Your blood is pumping and you feel energized. The surroundings ignite your imagination, and you develop a plan to conquer the bad guy or change the world. When you finally get called in for the night, you think about your successful adventure…and your body and mind rest peacefully.
The bottom line: Inactivity causes our heart rate to slow, reducing blood flow to our brain and to the rest of our body, blocking our vision and ingenuity. It can also lead to health problems. On the contrary, being active has physical and mental effects. Positive effects. Personally and professionally I have experienced this connection between the mind and body, and more studies are showing the link between mental and physical health (Good for you, science!). Clearly, some medical challenges can be overcome with exercise, and we now know that depressive and anxious symptoms (among others) are greatly reduced with exercise too.
So if movement improves our physical health and mental clarity, shouldn't we combine them?
Absolutely! It’s called: Walk & Talk Therapy.
This style of therapy has been around for several years, and it is a big contrast to sitting on a couch talking about problems. Sitting stagnant in an office can sometimes result in dull problem-solving skills, but walking outside gets the blood flowing to your brain, thus improving positive thoughts, creativity and problem-solving skills.
We’ll talk details of Walk & Talk Therapy in Part 2…