Walk this way … to emotional management

We recently asked you about your walking habits. Ever since ’10,000 steps a day’ was conceived by a Japanese pedometer manufacturer in the 1960s, we’ve been encouraged to go on a daily walk. We’ve now moved on from pedometers to smart watches and fitness trackers, but the walking habit has stood the test of time. And with good reason, while it’s not specifically about the exact number of steps you do, walking does have great health benefits.

Our LinkedIn family are keen on walking too. In our recent poll, almost a third of you (31%) said you go for a walk every day, while half of you (50%) said you go for a walk a few times a week. We love walking at Complete too – you may have read Alan Littlefield’s blog about hiking recently.

One of the reasons we’re so keen on walking at Complete, is because it can have a direct impact on our Heart Rate Variability (HRV). We’ve been tracking the biology of leaders during a normal working day by using HRV technology for around 25 years. It enables us to quantify the amount of energy a leader has as well as the quality of that energy. For that reason, it’s a fundamental assessment in our coaching work too. Managing your HRV enables emotional management.

Research has shown that walking can elicit beneficial HRV responses – especially if you walk in a green environment. We know that the way we breathe can have a big impact on our HRV, so it makes sense that the breath rhythm of a walk in the fresh air can contribute to that positive HRV effect.

Given that our HRV can influence our energy levels, our emotions and our ability to think clearly, doing something to positively influence our HRV makes a lot of sense. If you find yourself stressed at work, it’s highly likely your HRV will be incoherent. A short walk outside in a green environment, with some simple breathing exercises, could be all you need shift your emotional state and create a coherent HRV signal.

Have you walked your way to emotional management yet?

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