Mindful Walking: Walk with Awareness.

Sep 28, 2021 | Andrea Cuc | @AndreaCuc | Comments (4)

Why walk?

Walking practices helps increase heart rate, strengthen heart, and increase blood circulation through your body. Increasing blood flow into the legs is beneficial for people who tend to do sedentary activities. Walking can improve digestion. Walking can increase energy, so we do not feel so tired and stagnant. Exercise in general can also help improve mood such as anxiety and depression, as well as improved quality of sleep.


Why walk mindfully?

Adding mindfulness to a walking routine can help us develop better focus, cultivate peace, reduce stress, reconnect us to the world around. It also makes walking more enjoyable, gets us out of our overthinking mind, and can give us a greater appreciation of the body as well as the world around us.

Mindful walking helps us slow down when our minds and bodies want to move too fast. Sometimes we hurry ourselves when we are not actually in a hurry. In a previous post we discussed generally using mindfulness to slow our pace--What would it feel like to slow down your pace for a while? Mindful walking involves walking quietly and being intentional with each step as we touch the earth. Allow yourself to wake-up and see the beauty of our wonderous earth and give appreciation for all the hard work that our body automatically does for us…like breathing, balancing, and walking. Take value in each step.


Steps for mindful walking:

1. Pause.

Before walking, stand still for a moment and bring your attention to your breath and your body breathing.

Notice the sensations in the chest or belly (diaphragm) generated by the process of breathing…muscles expanding and muscles contracting.

Take note of how your entire body is feeling.


2. As you begin to walk, bring your full attention to the movements and sensations in your body.

Keep your steps calm and peaceful.


3. Notice the way you carry your body.

Notice the sensations in your feet as they touch the earth.

Notice what your legs and hips are doing as you take each step. Notice the shifting in your hips and legs that occurs from side to side with each step. Feel the gravity that makes each step attach to the earth.

Notice what your arms are doing and how they move when you walk.

Notice your chest, shoulders, and back, and what your posture is like.

Notice your head and how you are holding it.


4. Once you have connected with the sensations and movement of your body, bring your attention to the sights around you. Open your awareness to your environment and explore it with your senses.

Describe what you see. Describe what you see using just the “facts” instead of “opinions.” Notice the colors, objects, foliage etc. in your environment.

Describe what you hear. Explore the sounds in your space. Notice how the sounds change.

Describe what you smell. Explore the aroma of the environment around you. Don’t force yourself to find anything, but just notice whatever you discover.

Describe what you feel. Notice the temperature of the air on your face. Notice if certain areas of your body are starting to build up heat as you walk.


5. Take note when your mind has wandered and is distracted by other thoughts. When this happens just remind yourself that it’s normal for the mind to wander. However as soon as you become aware of it, gently guide your attention back to noticing the movements in your body or noticing the environment around you.

Enjoy what is available to you in the moment.


6. As you finish your walk, notice your breath and the physical sensations in your body again. Explore this with curiosity and notice if anything has changed or if it feels any different? Again, simply notice, don’t force yourself to feel anything.


There are many ways to practice mindful walking. Please check out this 15 minute audio guided walking meditation for another option.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) blog.

Really like these guides. Walking is a way to enjoy our world's beauty in any season. I will definitely add smells to the enjoyment this Fall.


Great advice for a solo walk. For myself I like walking and talking with my wife and the presence of another tends to compromise some of the suggestions,
Best always,
Scott Jensen


At first, my thinking was that: we truly need to be cognizant of our surroundings when we exercise n public places... especially us seniors. And that purposely trying to escape from this task might not be wise.

But the article changed my perspective. We can accomplish both purposes.

Thank you for sharing.



In our family we call the awareness phase "five things for the five senses ". It is a centering exercise that is wonderful to improve focus on body, helps reduce stress, calms an anxious or hyperactive mind.
When one of my grandsons has a difficult day, one of his parents takes an evening "senses" walk to give a quiet and positive ending.

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