I never used to be much of a walker. I usually started my days with a run, but walking? No thanks! That has changed completely since I walked to Santiago de Compostela for the first time in 2013. It made me stop running and start with the habit of a daily walk. Why? Because I noticed some clear benefits, not only for me but also for my business:
At first, I thought to just postpone the running for a while. However, after walking 900 km on the Camino I decided to quit running completely. I started to notice that a daily walk brought me more satisfaction, gave me more energy and brought many new ideas. That personal experience is in line with the outcome of a 2014 study by Stanford University. 81% of the participants in the study saw an increase in their creativity while walking.
Boost in productivity
Walking allows me to take some distance from the daily issues and reflect on them. Whenever there are difficult challenges I think them over during a walk. After that walk, I come back refreshed and with many new ideas and solutions to the challenges. Taking time to reflect during a walk prevents me from getting stuck. Slowing down for a walk allows me to go faster. Walking boosts my productivity which is good for my business and for my work/life balance.
Since my 2013 Camino, I have also started to bring walking into my coaching. Walking creates an open environment in which it is easier to communicate than in a static sitting environment. In one situation I suggested a walk. My client looked at me and said “Do you want to get me away from my computer?”. That indeed is another benefit. Most of our office distractions are not interrupting during a walk. As a result, you will have more attention for each other. In this particular case, we conducted a walking meeting for an hour which gave my client the opportunity to vent her heart about the difficult situations at work. Something she would not have easily done while sitting in her office.
Take a walk!
The best way to experience the benefits of walking is to try it yourself. Take a walk! Make one of your next one-on-one meetings with a colleague or an alliance partner a walking meeting. Experience the benefits and be amazed at how much more productive your meeting will be.
Let’s turn the next time we meet into a walking meeting as well, or consider a “Walk ‘n Talk” to combine coaching with a walk!