Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.


Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to  living as if everything is a miracle.
         Walking to Increase Wisdom

Walking is undoubtedly one of the best and the most common exercises because it is simple and easy to do -- you just walk. Be that as it may, many people donít know how to walk, or make how to make walking increase their wisdom.

We all know that walking as an exercise promotes better circulation and hence better heart health. In addition, walking can make the brain healthier due to better blood circulation to the brain, and thus preventing it from aging. Remember, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.

But walking can also make you wiser too.

First of all, donít just exercise your feet simply because you have to get to some place to do something or to get what you want. In addition to reaping the health benefits of walking as a physical exercise, walking can enhance your wisdom.

Most of us just walk with our feet, but without fully utilizing the exercise of walking. That is to say, because walking is so automatic and mechanical that we no longer pay any attention to our walking. In other words, we donít concentrate when we are walking. We are so caught up with our destination-such as attending a meeting, or going shopping -- that we are completely oblivious of the process of walking. Even if we are using walking as an exercise, we may become so engrossed in listening to the music on the MP3 or talking to someone on our cell phone that we pay no attention to the movements of our feet because we have put them on automatic pilot.

If you are walking like the above scenarios, you are neither helping to protect your brain from aging, nor using walking to exercise your mind. As you age, your brain's cognitive functions also decline, such as you experience more memory lapses and you find it more difficult to learn new things. We are living in an age of speed, which creates a compulsive mind; unfortunately, a compulsive mind ages faster. The explanation is simple: like the body, a mind needs a break. If you overexert your body, it breaks down; likewise, a mind that seldom rests declines rapidly.

Walking can enhance your awareness, concentration, and clear thinking -- the attributes of wisdom. To be wise, you have to be more aware of what is happening to you, you must have better perception and greater understanding of events and happenings; with relaxation, you may have clearer thinking. Wisdom has much to do with awareness, concentration, and clear thinking, not just the accumulation of facts and information.

How to walk to enhance wisdom?

Mindfulness walking is the answer. That is, be mindful of how your feet move; pay attention to the shifting of your body weight as you move from your right foot to the left foot. Also, pay attention to your breaths: how you breathe in and breathe out, as well as the intensity of your breaths and how it affects the sensations of your body, such as the feelings of your soles and toes as your shoes touch the ground. Just practice paying attention to what is happening to your body as you are walking. Or you can focus your attention on the surrounding, such as the buildings and people around you. Practicing mindfulness walking can expand your mental capability.

Use walking to relax your mind too. Only a relaxed mind can think with clarity. The only way to still a mind is concentration on something automatic and spontaneous, such as walking. The objective of the concentration is to distract the mind from thinking, which it seldom does, except in sleeping. Even in deep sleep, the mind may continue to work in a passive way to weave out dreams or nightmares. Therefore, it is important to stop your brain from thinking so as to give it a meaningful break. Mental relaxation holds the key to relaxing the brain from mental stress for clarity of thinking.

TIPS: Next time you go for a walk, walk with consciousness, concentration, and relaxation. Walk as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau