Walking Meditation Is The Biggest Fitness Trend This Year — But What Is It?

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Alexandra Lozovschi

You don't need to be perfectly still and shut out the world in order to slip into a meditative state. As it turns out, you can practice meditation and achieve mindfulness while on the go as well. This is where walking meditation comes in.

"Many forms of movement can be meditative," notes Bustle, and that includes forest hikes, strolls in the park, or your daily jaunts about town.

Here's how to get started and incorporate walking meditation into your routine.

What Is Walking Meditation?

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Walking meditation is a physically active way to meditate. The term is pretty self-explanatory and enables the practitioner to tune into their body and incorporate mindfulness into their fitness routine.

“Walking meditation is designed to bring both the body and mind in sync and gives us a chance to connect with nature and our surroundings,” personal trainer Weilin Wu tells Bustle.

Instead of meditating with your eyes closed, head out and burn some calories while staying focused on your body and your breathing.

How To Do It

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"Meditating while walking basically means focusing on what you’re doing in the moment rather than your goal or destination," states Bustle.

The main requirements are to be present in the moment and to tune into what's around you rather than getting fixed on your thoughts -- for example, focus on the physical feel of the ground beneath you.

"Because the body is in motion, the object of focus becomes the movements of the body, rather than the behavior of the mind itself," explains William Fowler, head of content programming at meditation app Headspace.

This is a great way to bypass the residual stimuli that occur with regular meditation (all the thoughts that start spinning the moment you close your eyes), which "can be chaotic, loud and overwhelming," master yoga instructor Ross Rayburn points out.

10 Minutes A Day Are Enough

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According to Wu, 10-minute sessions every day for a week are enough to keep stress at bay.

“Identify a place where you can walk peacefully without too much distraction,” advises Wu. “Start strolling and focus on the present, your physical movement, your surroundings, and go with the flow.”

If you're having trouble teaching your mind to stay in the present and find yourself walking around on autopilot, try a walking meditation podcast or an app that can offer some audio guidance, such as Headspace, GirlTrek, Liberate, or Apple Fitness.

Reap The Benefits

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Both mediation and walking have their own separate set of benefits, so imagine what can happen when you combine them and get the best of both worlds.

In an article published earlier this month,Bustle discusses the benefits of walking meditation, which include both physical and emotional aspects.

One important thing you can get out of the experience is stress relief, along with an endorphins kick that will boost your mood. Another benefit of walking mediation is that it improves circulation. It will also get you energized -- it's a great pick-me-up for when you're feeling sluggish -- and will help you stay fit and more in tune with yourself and your emotions.