Our bodies are designed to take regular breaks throughout the day to recover from periods of productivity and prepare for the next challenge. (For more on these ultradian rhythms, visit “Get in Sync.”) A lunchtime walk is one way to honor that need — and return to work feeling refreshed. These tips will get you started on the right foot.
Forget your phone. Leaving your screen behind will give your eyes a much-needed rest. Though scrolling through social media may seem like a reward for a productive morning, it will ultimately diminish your ability to be present on your walk.
Take in your surroundings. Minus your tech and headphones, you can focus on enjoying the scenery. Aside from its hazards, distracted walking causes you to miss out on nature’s many health benefits, such as lowered stress and increased creativity.
Mind your posture. As you walk, soften your chest and broaden your shoulders; tuck your chin slightly and keep your eyes focused about 20 feet in front of you. (For more tips on walking form, visit “How to Walk: A Step-by-Step Guide.”)
Make it meditative. Bring mindfulness to your walk by slowing your gait and matching the length of your inhales with your exhales. Focus on the sensations of your body: your lungs filling with air, your feet connecting to the earth, your weight shifting as you move forward. (For a more formal walking meditation, see “Beyond Meditation.”)