The Magic of Walking: Your Guide to a Balanced, Purposeful Life is part memoir and part walking strategies and tools. Author Susan Sommers takes us on an incredible journey that started with her first 5k walk race in 2003 until June, 2020, when she decided to virtually walk the 778 kilometre el Camino de Santiago during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also includes self-assessment tools, templates, and exercises for walking for physical health, mental strength, and spiritual enlightenment from the University of Toronto, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and The Art of Living Foundation.
Table of Contents
How to use this book
Write it: Create a walking and gratitude journal.
See it: Create a print or online vision board.
Snap it: Use photography to capture images of places, people, and things that inspire you.
5 Common Myths About Walking
PART 1: WALKING FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Introduction (My story)
Strategies and Tools for Physical Activity
Step 1: Select the right type of walking for your strengths, interests, and budget: 10 different types of walking for physical health.
Step 2: Do your research.
Step 3: Buy the best shoes you can afford and take care of your feet.
Step 4: Create walking checklists for both warm and cold weather.
Step 5: Warm up your body and cool down; employ a good walking technique.
Step 6: Walk throughout the year – both outdoors and indoors.
Step 7: Build an accountability team and/or create a walking group.
Step 8: Develop goals, routines, rituals, and plans.
Step 9: Commit to the Mayo Clinic 12-week walking schedule.
Step 10: Sign up for a 5k or 10k walk race, in person or virtually, and share your story.
PART 2: WALKING FOR MENTAL CLARITY AND EMOTIONAL STRENGTH
Introduction (My story)
Strategies and Tools for Mental Clarity and Emotional Strength
Step 11: Walk for brain power, plasticity, and resilience.
Step 12: Use movement to clear your head and overcome obstacles and challenges.
Step 13: Design a vary of walking and hiking routines and lengths to stimulate your brain.
Step 14: Investigate three types of walking to enhance mental health.
Step 15: Embrace positive walking affirmations for mental health.
Step 16: Organize walk meetings.
Step 17: Plan your own walking/hiking retreats for mental health.
Step 18: Register, and prepare for, a half- or full marathon walk race.
Step 19: Understand common mistakes made when entering and completing a half- or full marathon walk race.
Step 20: Speak to communities about your mental and emotional challenges and the ways in which walking helped you to overcome obstacles and find peace.
PART 3: WALKING FOR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND TO CONNECT WITH NATURE
Introduction (My story)
Strategies and Tools for Spiritual Strength and to Connect with Nature
Step 21: Use walking to enhance creativity.
Step 22: Add mindful walking apps to your walks.
Step 23: Try a breathwalk.
Step 24: Embrace walking meditation (mindful walking).
Step 25: Prepare to start, and complete, a walking meditation.
Step 26: Learn about seven types of walking meditations.
Step 27: Practice the Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku, aka forest bathing or forest walking.
Step 28: Add walking to your travels.
Step 29: Find spiritual retreats and give back to others.
Step 30: Live in a more sustainable way: the case for walking, the environment, and walkable communities.
PART 4: JOURNALLING IDEAS FOR PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL WALKING SUCCESS
Step 1. Gain the motivation you need to change.
Step 2. Tap into your passion.
Step 3. Do your research.
Step 4. Surround yourself with supporters.
Step 5. Believe you can achieve your goals.
Step 6. Develop habits and routines aligned with your goals.
Step 7. Create your own action plan.
Step 8. Acknowledge challenges and stay motivated.
Step 9. Recognize and celebrate your achievements.
Step 10. Assess your results; imagine the possibilities.
PART 5: SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOLS, EXERCISES, AND QUIZZES
From Catherine Sabiston and Eva Pila
Part 1: WALKING FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Part 1, #1: Tap into Your Passion
Part 1, #2: Research for Your Activity Toolbox
Part 1, #3: Surround Yourself with Supporters
Part 1, #4: Exercise Activity Log
Part 1, #5: Goal Setting
Part 1, #6: Goals Checkup
Part 1, #7: Create Your Own Action Plan
Part 1, #8: Physical Activity Contract
Part 2: WALKING FOR MENTAL CLARITY AND EMOTIONAL STRENGTH
Part 2, #1: Discover Your Motivation
Part 2, #2: Self-talk to Discover Your Motivation
Part 2, #3: Four Ways to Change Self-Talk
Part 2, #4: How Emotion Regulation Supports Habits and Routines
Part 2, #5: Acknowledge Challenges and Stay Motivated
Part 2, #6: Recognize and Celebrate Your Achievements
Part 3: WALKING FOR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND TO CONNECT WITH NATURE
50 Ways to Up-level Your Forest Bathing Experience, from Forest Bathing Central (www.forestbathingcentral.com )
Practice Face Yoga in 10 Steps, from the Art of Living Foundation
A few last words
About the Author
About the Contributors
About the Author:
Susan Sommers is the co-author of Power Source for Women: Proven Fitness Strategies, Tools, and Success Stories for Women 45+ (BPS Books, 2010) and Love Your Body… Embrace Your Life! (Balboa Press, 2016).
As a popular motivational speaker, Susan delivers memorable, moving, and humorous presentations to audiences internationally and has been featured at International Women’s Day events in India, the United States, and Canada.
Through her company, Power Source for Women, she inspires, educates, and coaches women world - wide to make a lifelong commitment to their health, fitness, and spirituality.