Walking To Music
Walking is a natural mood-elevator and promotes feelings of happiness and well-being: the ‘walker’s high’. That’s partly because of the rhythmic action of walking itself which promotes increased confidence and a feeling of being in control. And its partly because walking burns up stress hormones which keep us tense, and increases relaxation hormones called endorphins which have a tranquillising effect and lift our mood. A further way of increasing those relaxation hormones is to listen to music.
We know, from the work of music therapists, that music can take us from a highly tense state to a relaxed yet alert state in just a few minutes. Why? Surprise, surprise! It’s those pesky little things called endorphins again. It seems that music also triggers their release, making us feel less anxious. So, putting the two together, why not take a Walkman cassette player with you on your next walk and and listen to music to match your stride and mood. Listen to a favourite tape, or buy one of the specialist walking tapes which gradually increase pace to the beat of the music – music that maintains a brisk beat if you want to maintain a brisk pace and soothing classical music for a meditative stroll. Tapes are available which cater for a wide range of musical tastes – pop, classical, country, swing and marches. It’s a good idea to avoid vocal pieces which can be distracting.
It may seem obvious, but remember to look where you are going when listening to a music tape on the move. Headphones can distract you from traffic or other dangers on the road, so if you listen to music, look ahead and stay alert to your surroundings at all times.