“Walking is man’s best medicine.” Hippocrates
It may look an easy combination, the reinvention of something simple. I don’t intend to reinvent anything but since we are in the era of the knowledge and awareness, I will add these both to what we do: why do we Walk and how and why combine it with Coaching.
Our grandmas do it since years, they walk and talk and they feel great afterwards, so they repeat. Until now, the fact of feeling great was related to the benefits of socialization and the physiologic effects of physical exercise such as endorphin generation or the activation of the cardiovascular system among others described further than the antisedentary recommendation of “walk 30minuts per day”.
Lately, a part from the physiological benefits from physical activity and walking, also psychological benefits have been proven through several studies1. The benefits itself are nothing new, it’s years pilgrims enjoy them and even longer since walking is recommended as a beginning into meditation practice. It’s just that now when we have scientific data on the effects of meditation to cerebral activity, that we are in the position to certify its benefits.
Also new is the fact that it’s no longer an spiritual practice that requires long hours of sacrifice; now we know that these are benefits we can access daily nearly without effort. I refer to the fact that our body for the simple fact of walking takes our mind out of the stress state through balancing the activity of the two brain hemispheres automatically. Yes, automatically. This is nearly as saying for free, without need of any pills, therapies or illumination processes.
As Einstein said,
“We can’t solve the problems with the same thinking that we’ve created them.”
It is from de stress situation where problems and worries appear generating more stress instead of solutions.
A stressing4 situation drives our organism in a state of “animal” reaction to a danger: to run or to fight.
Cardiac and respiratory frequencies increase and also glucose levels in blood in order to have availability of energy among other effects. In this state, our body, and though our mind, which are not so separated as the wording may show, is not in position to create future options and new possibilities: it is fighting for survival.
The funny fact is that our daily life brings us to this state nearly very often, and from there we request to be more creative, more flexible to our changing environment, to be our best version.
Isn’t it paradox?
We drive our organism into a state where all its resources are ready to fight for survival, and then we ask it to grow, to be creative, to bring out its best resources, to review itself and find new points of view.
Here is where the synergy with Coaching appears since Coaching is a conversation based process that brings out clients resources and allows using it to serve its challenges. It is an action oriented process in which the coach assists the client to achieve its goals in which usually creativity is involved to find new perspectives.
Even a good Coach has many tools to stimulate this process, if we start from a stressed state first a space to stop worrying for survival will have to be created.
To sum up, with Coaching & Walking, we:
- accompany with the body the process we request to the mind.
- generate a corporal and mental state from where our internal resources are more available, a state that facilitates and accelerates the reflection and creativity of the client.
- potentiate a perspective change through an environment change going outdoors.
- breaking with routine and not having physical limits (walls) potentiates breaking mental limitations.
- reconnect with our most authentic and inspired self.
- give space to questions and answers that can’t show up in our daily life.
- maximize Coaching results.
At the end the body is much wiser than what we have been accepting: ¿Who hasn’t felt the need for fresh air or to stretch the legs when under stress? Well, now we know why.
¡Coaching & Walking is a 2 for 1 where the result is much more than 2!
1 Marquez, S. Beneficios psicológicos de la actividad física. Revista de Psicología General y Aplicada., 1995, 48 (1), 185-206.
2 Dispenza, J. (2014). El placebo eres tú. Barcelona: Urano.
Jorge Dispenza in his book “You are the placebo” illustrates with electroencephalograms the effect of meditation on cerebral waves: the change from beta waves of the awake state to alfa waves of the relaxed state from where we can be aware and create, and even to zeta state for masters in meditation.
3 Hemispherical bilateral stimulation is a psychologic therapy effective for stress treatment known as EDMR. It can be applied through rapid eye movements or bilateral auditory or tactile stimulation. Bilateral tactile stimulation is also known as tapping. Walking is not strictly included in tapping, however it involves the stimulation of both parts of the body with the same principles. There are studies proving its efficacy such as:
Mert, Agali, and Eric Vermetten. “Military motion-based memory desensitization and reprocessing (3MDR): a novel treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder–proof of concept.” Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation 4.2 (2011): 212+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2016.