Walking. It’s one of the easiest, lightest, and most beneficial exercises that almost any person can do. Once kids start walking, it’s very nearly impossible to get them to stop. To ensure that those little legs ( and heart ) stay powerful — we walk. Where we’re walking doesn’t particularly matter. We can be waiting at school…
Or visiting a new park
As long as we’re moving — it doesn’t matter. While we walk, I ask the kids about their surroundings: What colors do we see? What landmarks are nearby? Are there any animals? Do we know anyone outside (or inside)?
These simple questions help their little brain stay “mindful”. Meaning, that as we’re walking, they’re also reducing their anxiety and/or wandering thoughts. The child learns to trust the adult that’s with them the more time they spend walking together. Of course, you as the adult will explain all of the safety precautions needed in their immediate environment (added bonus). Eventually, the walks turn into a comfortable silence.
Story Time: When my grandma was doing physical therapy, she used to have me walk with her down the street. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal — except we did it at night. I was terrified of the dark. The more times we had our little walks, the more comfortable I finally became with darkness (my old friend). The only aspect that ever changed with our walks was our talks. I learned quickly: As long as I can move and talk – I’d be fine. Going for a walk is now my everything.
Walking doesn’t have to be done anywhere special. But you’ll be surprised where your feet can take you when you finally go do it.