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How to Keep Going for Walks Even During Wartime

Did you stop going out for walks due to concerns? Do you keep walking outside but feel insecure? We gathered some tips that may be helpful.

How do we continue to go out on walks these days, despite the news, despite the sirens, despite the situation? As a matter of fact, how do we continue to do things that used to be important to us and that we found purpose in, when today it seems that they have lost their purpose? We want to go back to being who we were before the war. We want to go back to feeling like our old selves. Even if, at first, it may feel unnatural to us, and we will not feel like we used to, it is important that we take the first step to reclaiming our sense of control. While it may feel strange to us at first, step by step we will begin to feel like our old selves and restore our sense of control.

It is important that we restore our own inner balance and reclaim and continue functioning. That way, we can communicate to our family that we manage to keep ourselves together and this will also affect our family members. Walking and physical activity have beneficial effects on all aspects of physical, mental, cognitive social and environmental health.
Especially now, during these challenging and difficult times, walking will help us feel better and reinforce our physical and mental resilience.

3 rules that will make us feel safer while walking

  • Following the Home Front Command's guidelines during sirens and alerts.
  • Updating our loved ones that we went out on a walk.
  • Walking close to home.

The benefits of walking

  • Walking gives us a time-out from stress and thereby improves our mood and sense of vitality.
  • It helps us cope with mental stress, anxiety and depression, and thereby improves our personal resilience.
  • Contributes to our sense of control and return to normal activities.
  • Allows us to catch our breath and get some fresh air in the open spaces available to us.
  • Allows for in-person interactions with family, friends and acquaintances and relieves our feelings of loneliness.
  • Helps the efficient functioning of the body's systems and may improve the functioning of our immune system.
  • Helps us maintain our physical fitness.
  • Allows us to take some free time for ourselves, for listening to podcasts or music that we like.
  • Walking in pairs or in a group, with our children or our family members, reinforces feelings of "togetherness".
  • Joint walking encourages conversations and sharing our feelings.
  • Constitutes an opportunity for shared activities between parents and children.

Walking indoors

Due to the situation, some of us our forced to stay indoors for longer periods of time, and therefore, we need to clear away various furniture and objects from our walking route.

  • We should take the opportunity to use any free moment for walking between the activities at home.
  • We should use a pedometer and see how many steps we made at the end of each day.
  • If possible, incorporate opportunities to go up and down stairs.
  • We should play music to make our walking more pleasant.
  • We can diversify our walk cycles and go forward and backward, crossways and sideways. While walking, we should try to shift our body weight between our toes and our heels, inwards and outwards.
  • We should add arm movements in various directions, move our shoulders backwards and forwards.
  • We should do balance exercises like walking in a straight line along the line of the tiles.
  • We should take the time for walking meditation and relieve our stress. Let's walk slowly and listen to our breathing.
  • Walking in a lying 8 form (infinity form) helps improve our cognitive functioning.
  • We should encourage our children to participate in the walking experience. This is an opportunity for them to release their energy and to step away from the television and the computer.

Walking outside, next to home and next to the bomb shelter

If we have the opportunity to walk in nature, this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some fresh air, blossom fragrances, the sound of the waves at the beach or the tweetting of the birds in the park or the changing colors of the seasons.

  • Exposure to sunlight allows our body to absorb melatonin and vitamin D that are beneficial for our body.
  • During daytime, we should protect our body from the sun's radiation by wearing sunglasses, wearing sunscreen and covering exposed parts of our body.
  • In the winter, we should dress accordingly and avoid going out when the weather is stormy.

This is the time to get up, go for a walk and return with renewed strength. Every step counts!

Contributed to this article:
Edna Bukstein
- M.Sc., active walker, promoter of walking for a healthy and active lifestyle, moderator of workshops and lectures on the subject.
Ruth Dekel - M.Ph., former physical activity supervisor at the Ministry of Education, group instructor and spirituality therapist.