“Solvitur Ambulando”: All is solved by walking
How wonderful is this!
“Solvitur ambulando” is a motto that has been at times attributed to both St Augustine and the Greek philosopher, Diogenes. You would be hard-pushed to find a better guiding principle for navigating life’s ups and downs. If I lived in the kind of house that had a lintel above my door I would carve it into the stone.
A mentor once said to me “You simply can’t think about a problem in the same way when you are in motion.”
I walk every day. It is my happy place. And recently I’ve had the additional pleasure of being able to go for long walks in my native England. There are few things that rival walking in the fields and valleys of the Cotswolds.
But do you know what I love most about walking? As I move my mind goes into this ‘floaty’ space where stress unravels, softens, and I become flooded with a sense of wellbeing.
Walking gives me a fresh perspective when I’m unable to decide something, or stuck on an issue. Movement boosts my mental abilities, and I am able to clearly weigh up the pros and cons of a decision. And as an added bonus, some of my most creative ideas bubble up to the surface.
Thanks to my cousin, Jacquetta, for introducing me to the phrase ‘solvitur ambulando’. And here is a photo she took doing just that in Switzerland.
The ‘science’ behind the benefits:
If you are curious about the ‘science‘ of it here are some of the facts. Even just the process of getting outside and moving will change the perspective of whatever you have been mulling over. Your body draws in more oxygen nourishing you at a cellular level. Movement triggers the release of endorphins and hormones like dopamine and serotonin (natural anti-depressants and happy hormones). It releases proteins that nourish brain health and boost short and long-term memory. The process of moving activates alters and minimises stress chemicals. What’s not to love?
In case you would like to do some serious hiking here there is an app a friend of mine highly recommends. It is called All Trails. There is a free version (which is the one I have). It gives you all kinds of trails in your area and around the world, and shows you live updates of where you are at any point on your walk. I can’t wait to try it myself next weekend.