Do you walk or flaneur?
With ‘going for a walk’ the only thing we have been able to do regularly for months that involves leaving the house, it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm especially when we have been limited to where and with whom we can walk. Walking because we have to get outside or maintain a step count, or in fact you feel like you might scream if you spend more time indoors can detract from the physical and mental benefits of walking
It’s Time to Flaneur
An untranslatable French word that often features in travel writing , it means to leisurely ramble, where the only focus is to absorb the beauty in the environment or details around us. Such simple features that we can easily overlook as we might be barking at our travel companions, (especially if they are out children who REALLY do not want to be there)or when we are absorbed by something on our phone or the last email we read before we left the house
A study published in Emotion, looked at older adults who walked in unfamiliar areas and were advised to notice details, found that the participants experienced a greater sense of wellbeing. So much so that. the smiles in their selfies were broader than those who had been set walking paths with no such direction
How to Flaneur
Be aware of your local covid 19 guidelines and also the type of area you are walking in if you are alone and unfamiliar.
Marry your walking with your breath
Mindful meditation has been shown to help with feelings of stress, relaxation and wellbeing. This process of being present can be incorporated with walking- breathe deeply and match your breathing pattern to your steps as a way of being fully present in your walk and the environment around you.
Keep well, Dr Clara