Here are ten tips to add a new dimension to bushwalks:
1) Stretch and do a light warm up before the walk
Work the calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, ankles and back. I suggest stretching for one minute per every year of age. Treat yourself as a rubber band; don’t over extend or jerk as you might snap. Slowly the rubber band will become longer and longer. The walks won’t feel so painful afterwards.
2) Mindful walking
Hey, it’s great to offload your problems to a friend or think about what’s wrong in your life but let’s switch off and look at the surroundings, hear the birds, breath the air, be present where you are… give the chatter a rest and connect with nature.
3) Tai chi & qi gong
The Chinese have been doing it for thousands of years. Find a peaceful spot, bend your knees slightly, back straight, buttock tucked in, and imagine a chord running up to heaven, hands by your side. Just stand silently and feel the buzz. Taking a class beforehand always helps.
Find a scenic spot and take a break. Why not grab some paper and crayons and just scribble lightly on a piece of paper? You don’t need to be an artist to draw. You will be amazed at what comes up. This will trigger your creative side and give the logical brain a rest.
Find a good earthy spot, take your socks and shoes off, and just walk on nature. The earth can discharge all that extra electricity you accumulate in the office. Stand for a while and imagine you are a tree.
6) Reflexology while you walk
If you manage to find a place with a lot of smooth pebbles or a rocky area, walk barefoot and let your feet have a massage. If you find a spot that is extra sore, gently massage it. Walking like this in the bush can have its dangers so make sure you choose a safe place and limit to a small area that you can scan for insects, glass, sharp objects and plants you are familiar with.
7) Tap while you walk
Acupressure and tapping are a great way to stimulate your body and relieve stress. You could tap three fingers below your abdomen while you walk. There are so many points on your arm you can slap or tap up or down it (again, a class could be a great way to learn more about this).
8) Chant om / aum
Different sounds can have different effects on you / your vibration. Experiment with what works for you while walking (and/or find a place to sit). Some sounds can stimulate the chakras, so see what works best for you (you could try lam-vam-ram-yam-ham-om).
9) Connect with your body
Take time as you walk to sense your body. Feel the air around your hands, the blood circulating, the cells in your fingers, any aches and pains. Send good thoughts to them or imagine them glowing in a bright colour of your choice.
Join a meet-up group and walk with like-minded people and talk to them in person rather than on your phone. Meeting new people can allow you to share ideas or just give you a different point of view. There are hundreds of groups around Australia (and the world) with people getting together to get out into nature. http://www.meetup.com/walkers-165/
is a popular group in Sydney and there is always something on.