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There is so much pain and suffering happening in the world and in our own lives.

It’s easy to look around and feel hopeless.

One of the things that has helped me more than anything else during hard times is walking.

Having a walking practice has brought me more peace and calm than I could have ever imagined, and I encourage everyone I know, including all of you, to start one.

This week, hear all the benefits I’ve experienced from having a consistent walking practice, the types of walks my practice includes, and some tips for making the most of your practice.


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What you will discover

  • What I like to do during my walks.
  • Some of the different types of walks you can include in your practice.
  • Tips for doing a silent walk.
  • Why I recommend walking with a friend.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 518.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey, beautiful friends, how are you? Are we coming out of the cold? Are we coming into spring? New season, new life. I have been coaching so much so far this year. All the time. I’ve been doing lots of group coaching, lots of student coaching, really diving into some very deep work with a lot of people.

And I just want to say that I think so many people are going through it right now. Going through such hard times. And as a world we’re going through very hard times with wars that are creating atrocities that we then have to get up and function during a day, with diagnosis that we’re having to hear and then take care of our kids, with relationships ending, and with fraud. And with so much pain going on it seems like in so many instances that things are hopeless.

And then I also coach so many people on success and joy and new life and new life and new babies and new opportunities and new creations. And as a coach it just is like the full spectrum of humanity that I experience on a day to day. Even within an hour call I can be coaching someone on the deepest, darkest pain they’re experiencing and then someone on their huge joy of accomplishment or joy of creation.

And it just makes me think about what it is to be human. What it is to just wake up and show up in this life is sometimes just a miracle that we can do it. And sometimes life presents us with opportunities to literally experience miracles blow our own minds.

As a human I kind of find it to be jarring to go back and forth with such extremes. I tend to live a very intense life, I have a very intense personality and so I feel like sometimes I experience things on a roller coaster ride. And all of this to say that I would answer the question, how do I get through it? How do I keep myself sane? How do I continue to live in a world that is such that ours is in a way that is balanced and allows me to have some peace? And I would say the one thing that helps me more than anything, really, is walking.

I’ve had a walking practice for literally as long as I can remember. Being able to get outside and go on a walk every single day has literally saved my life. I will say that I think it’s very closely related to reading and coaching because those are two things that I do on my walks, and so it’s hard to separate them out. It’s hard to say which is more important, the walking, the reading, which is listening to audiobooks and podcasts, or the coaching that I do. But the three of them together are, I think, a magical ingredient, a magical recipe for more peace and love and understanding in your own life.

And so if you don’t have a walking practice, I highly recommend that you consider starting one. I’m actually thinking about late spring doing a walking challenge. One of my friends, Chalene Johnson, just did a walking challenge with her community and it was extraordinary watching all of the success that people had and all the fun that they had on that. So I’m thinking about doing one with you all later in the spring.

And what it would consist of is just a practice of consistent walking for probably 30 days. And for me, it’s not just the walking, it’s the practice of the walk and what we do on the walk and how we do the walk. I recently, as many of you know who are watching behind the scenes in Scholars, know that I had moved to Miami. I had sold my place in Scottsdale and I had moved to a penthouse that I had bought years before that had just been completed in Miami.

And it’s really interesting, when I bought the place in Miami I was in a very different phase of my life. Very different energy, very different desires. I was single. I wanted to go out. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to live in a penthouse. I wanted to live in a city.

And by the time it was done I was in a very different place in my life. But because the condo had appreciated so much, I thought, hey, I’ll move into the condo and live there for a year to adjust for the capital gains profit that I would make on it, and also because it would be a fun experience to live in Miami for a year and to do all the Miami things.

So I know that this is redundant for those of you who are following along with this in Scholars, but when I got there, there was a chain of events, let’s say, that were very comical moving into the place, getting the furniture that was supposed to come with the place and dealing with all of the mishaps and craziness that can happen when you move into a brand new place.

And one of the things that I found the most challenging about being in Miami, and I still do, is that there really isn’t a place for me to walk where I can go out my front door and have a peaceful walk. I live right on a very busy road. And so if I go outside to go on a walk, there’s going to be tons of people, tons of traffic.

And I can walk down that very busy street to a neighborhood where I can walk and get some peace. And there’s also a place where I could get in a car and drive to a park that’s nearby and I can walk in the park. I had thought that I would be able to walk on the beach. And walking on the beach is actually so good for your legs, for your body, for your health. It’s amazing, it’s beautiful on the beach.

But what was so interesting about it is I couldn’t coach myself or listen to books in the same way because walking on the beach requires much more concentration. And so I wasn’t getting the same mental benefit that I would normally get from my walk on just cement.

I don’t walk really fast. I’m not very focused on making sure I get a workout or anything like that. I’m just walking at a kind of meditative pace. And so I found being on the beach, and it was very windy on the beach when I first moved there, that there was lots of distraction and you have to really pay attention. It wasn’t working for me.

And it was amazing to notice how much that affected me and affected my mental state to be able to function at the highest level. It’s been very rare that I’ve ever moved somewhere that I haven’t really been able to find peace without having to coach myself a lot. And Miami was one of those places. And so I told my boyfriend, I was like, okay, I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I want to do this. I don’t need to live here. I want to move somewhere.

And initially, before this house had been completed, before they gave us 30 days’ notice that we were going to close on the condo, we were looking at places in San Diego. I think I have talked to you all about that. So I’m in San Diego right now. We found a house here and we made an offer on it. We’re right in the process of going into escrow on a house here.

And I will tell you, we’ve been here for about a week now, and the hiking – First of all, it’s just about spring in California. So the weather is perfect. The hills are green as green can be. It is stunningly gorgeous here. And the hiking is off the chain. I just went for a two and a half hour hike. And it doesn’t even have to be a hike, it can just be a walk.

But there’s trails everywhere here. They’re not very crowded. Beautiful views, lots and lots and lots of peace. And the amount of motivation, the amount of wellbeing, the amount of fitness I get just from being in a place where I can walk for a long period of time on a trail without having to go in circles and have peace is phenomenal.

And I’ve been telling Elijah, I’m just like, this is everything for me. And he really makes fun of me. He was making fun of me the other day because we were driving. I’m not a very good driver. I think I’ve told you all this, that I’m just not a good driver.

I drive very slowly. I have this very fancy Taycan Porsche, and I drive it like a grandma. And my kids die when I drive. And I, you know, I’m just not really good at driving. And Elijah was imitating me driving because I’m always looking for a trail. I’m always like, oh, is that a trail? Oh, is that a trail head? Oh my gosh, look, we could go hiking there. He’s like, you’re always distracted by the trails when we’re trying to drive on a road.

So I’m always driving slow, I’m always looking to the side. So he usually drives so I can look for trails. And there’s nothing I love more than to find a new trail and to go explore it and see like, where does this go? And is there a view? And is there water? And are there people walking dogs? It’s like the best for me.

And so I want to make sure that all of you know how important a walking practice can be and how much value it can add to your life, like truly. So the deal for me is I like to wake up in the morning, I like to have coffee, and then I like to put on my shoes and go for a walk.

Since this year I’ve been working out and lifting weights a lot, I usually have to debate whether I lift weights before the hike or after. So when I was in Florida, I would usually go on a walk first because it would warm up and get pretty hot towards the mid-morning and then I would go in and do my workout, and also the gym is less busy.

But here I’ve been wanting to go on much longer walks and so it gives me, when I do my workout before I go on the long walk, then it gives me freedom to just kind of relax and think.

There are two ways that I like to do a walk. One of them is total silence. And if I have a lot of ideas going on in my head, if I have a lot of challenging problems I’m trying to deal with, if I have plans I’m trying to make, I just go in silence and I let my brain just dance around. And I let it kind of buzz and think and try to solve problems and think through things.

And for the first maybe, I don’t know, half hour of the walk, I could be taking notes on what’s going on in my brain or sending Slack messages to my team about things that need to get done or things that I need someone to follow through on or things to remind me about, all those things. So it’s kind of like the first half hour is really just an unloading, a thought download kind of thing.

And then I settle in and I just let my brain just rest on ideas and dreams and desires and peace. As I have gotten older, something happened to me when I turned 50. And a lot of women tell me this, that when they’re in their late 40s early 50s, something shifts inside of them. And it really is that turning off the noise of the outside world and not caring as much what people will think if I do something or if I don’t do something, what my friends will think or what my parents will think or what my kids will think or whatever.

It’s much more of a deepening into the true desire of what you truly want. And for me, I’ve also had a huge shift, and of course I’ve talked about this on the podcast, in how my ambition feels and the sense of completion that I have around some things and then the sense of desire and ambition I have about others has really been interesting.

So in many ways, I feel like I’m kind of getting to know this new version of myself. And so being able to walk in silence and eavesdrop on myself thinking has been very enlightening. I lead with a curiosity about myself and about my life and about what’s going on.

If you can imagine, it’s kind of like going on a walk with a friend and just letting them kind of chat into the silence, right? Not filling the silence, not interrupting them, but just letting them kind of talk to see what comes up and see as you meander where it goes.

There are, I would say, out of a seven-day week, there are probably two days of that week where I have a silent walk and I have just peace where I just listen to myself. And I always come back totally refreshed physically, but I also come back with a deeper sense of myself, a deeper intimacy with myself, and kind of a cleansed brain. I highly recommend you try this.

In the beginning, it might be difficult for some of you to really be able to tune in to your own brain and to do the download and to find that quiet water underneath, but I highly recommend that you give it a try. You try to find the silence and the messaging and the wisdom that you have underneath the noise.

I highly recommend that you turn off all notifications on your phone, unless, you know, maybe your kids. But all notifications about any kind of work, any kind of social media, anything that will drag you away from yourself. And although you may want to have your phone with you, the silence is what brings it up.

I also recommend that you don’t listen to music. Music gives your brain something to focus on. It gives your brain something to do other than finding its own depth. And so the silence is really the answer. And I like to go on an hour and a half to two-hour walk. You don’t have to go on that long of a walk, but I do find the longer the walk, the more I find out about myself. So that’s the silent walk.

The second kind of walk that I do, and I probably do this one two to three times a week, is the girlfriend coaching chat walk. And I usually do this with my best girlfriend, Kris Plachy and I normally do not like talking on the phone. I’m not one of those people that people call. I’m not someone that calls you.

But if I’m going on a walk I’ll call my friend Aprille or I’ll call my friend Kris, and we can chat. And we can talk about life, and we can talk about coaching, and we can help each other through some stuff, and we can share ideas. And we do it for as long as it feels right.

And many times we’re often like, oh, we should record these calls, they’re so good. And sometimes we’re laughing hysterically, and sometimes we’re dealing with family things. And it’s kind of my chance to be really intimate with another woman in a deep friendship, and have very deep conversations.

And a conversation on a walk, I do feel like brings up a different kind of conversation than one that doesn’t. We also do this when we’re together. Kris is coming into town for a week to spend a week with me and we’re going to work and play and hike. And I love going on a walk with another human, another friend, another person. It’s a great way to get to know each other on a deeper level. And so I highly recommend doing that.

I’ve mentioned my friend Chalene, we’ve been going on walks together. It’s so cool to go on a walk, especially when a lot of the times you might get together it would be with your partners, like going out to dinner in social gatherings. To just have the two girls on a walk, for me, is a very nourishing experience.

So I do that on the phone with Kris mostly, but I highly recommend that you grab a friend and go on a walk, especially one that you want to get to know better, you want to stay connected to, you want to love harder, so to speak. My mom and I like to go on walks. She loves to hike too, and so we love to go on walks together and catch up and talk. It’s very fun.

The other type of walk that I like to do, and this I would say fills in the gaps of the other days, is listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I like to listen to educational, inspiring, thought-provoking material. I will listen to business books, marketing books. I will listen to self-help books. I will listen to financial books.

I’m recently very interested in real estate, real estate investing and real estate books. And when my brain gets excited about something, it just wants more, and more, more, more. It just gets voracious about it. So I’ve been listening to a lot of that.

And I will tell you, when I go on these walks and I’m listening to these books, I usually have to stop and take notes. And I just take notes in my audio note app, or I type it into a regular app, or into the regular note app. Or I send myself an email if it’s something that I really want to pay attention to right away.

I don’t know if you all know this, but there’s also a way to send yourself a message in Slack. So if it’s a business item that I need to take care of, I send myself a message in Slack to remind myself. If it’s an idea that I have for a sales page, or an idea that I have for a podcast, or an idea I have for one of my classes, I’ll put it in there.

So, as you can see, these are like two hours where I am spending out in nature, getting amazing fresh air, getting scenery, especially when you’re traveling you get to see parts of the countryside, parts of the city, parts of the spaces that you’re in that you otherwise wouldn’t see. And occasionally, like I was on a walk yesterday, occasionally you’ll see a little animal, I’m not really sure what it is. It looks kind of scary, like is it a mountain lion? Is it a bobcat? I’m not sure, going to walk the other way.

I often get lost on my hikes, and thank God for GPS that helps me find my car again because I get lost. But those are some of the best walks that I’ve ever been on. And when you have time to go on a walk, like if I have a day off and I can just go and I don’t have to put a time limit on my walk, when I get back, I am truly depleted physically. I’m usually starving for food. I’m like, I can’t wait to eat. I want some more water and I want to lay down. And for me that’s like the best feeling ever, it’s like to use yourself up.

Walking is one of the best ways to maintain your weight, to maintain your health, to maintain your sanity. And I have shared my walking practice with many of you, and many of you have told me that you started walking because I had talked about it, because I had talked about how great it was.

And I couldn’t believe it when I heard, like Chalene was talking about when she did her walking challenge, that someone had lost, I think it was just in one month, had lost 25 pounds from just going outside and walking every day. And this was someone that was trying to diet and go on crazy fasts and work out in the gym like a crazy person. And really they just needed to be able to walk.

And to go outside, and walk in a way where you’re just taking care of yourself feels very different. So sometimes I’ll go on a walk with someone and they want to walk really fast, because they want to get into some certain zone or they want to get their heart rate up or whatever. I don’t ever try to do any of that. I just go out and make sure I’m enjoying it.

And I go for distance over speed. I’m definitely the tortoise when it comes to walking. And I’m very fit, so I can walk up very steep hills with no problem. I don’t really lose my breath, so I maintain a good cadence and I get, I would say, a good workout. But not because I’m pushing so hard during the walk, it’s because I’m walking for a long time.

And when you have these opportunities for yourself, and you go out and you have these silent walks, or this time with your girlfriends, or for me, when I’m listening to an audio book it really feels like I’m having a relationship with the person or the podcast. And I know many of you have said this too, like you go on walks with me all the time and you feel like we’re friends and we’re going on walks. And that’s totally how I feel too, when I go on a walk.

And sometimes, every once in a while, I listen to my own podcast, especially because I have so many older ones that I need to review for things. And it’s really a trip to go on a walk and listen to yourself on a podcast, yourself years ago on a podcast. To kind of think about that relationship with yourself is really cool.

But I will notice if I don’t have a walk on a day or if I miss a couple of days in a row, I do notice how that affects how I am with myself, how I am with other people, and how I show up in the world. Going on a walk and getting away from your computer, getting away from social media, getting away from the constant requests and questions and to-do lists, is a gift you can give yourself.

And so if you haven’t started doing it, I recommend you try. Go out and try a silent walk. Go out and try an audio book walk. Go out and try a friendship talk walk. Maybe go out and try a podcast walk. Maybe even from now on, once a week, whenever you listen to my podcast, it’s on a walk.

I used to do this with People Magazine. I used to love People Magazine, but I’d only let myself read it when I was on one of those exercise bikes. And so I’d sit on the exercise bike for an hour and read through my People Magazine that I used to love so much. But it’s one of those things where it’s like you can look forward to a walk and a podcast.

Whenever I have a really good audio book I can’t wait to listen to, it’s like I can’t wait to get on that walk, I can’t wait to listen to that book. That’s what’s going on for me right now. I have this amazing financial book that I’m listening to as I prepare for some financial classes that I’m teaching inside of Scholars. And it’s so good and it has such unique approaches to wealth and finance that I cannot wait to get out and get an hour worth of a walk listening to that.

As a side note, I also listen to audiobooks when I’m working out, when I’m lifting. I like to just have my brain be able to focus on something cerebral while I’m trying to lift those huge weights. You know that I don’t enjoy a workout, but I always enjoy an audiobook. So if I have a good audiobook or podcast on, I can enjoy that part until the workout is over. So that’s just a pro tip for those of you who don’t like to lift weights.

By the way, I have not missed a day of lifting weights. I lift weights five days a week, I have not missed a day since I started at the beginning of this year. And I feel amazing. I feel strong. I think I told you the other day I got lost on a hike and I had to hike up this huge hill to get to safety, basically. And my legs were so strong because I’ve been lifting so heavy and so much.

So combining a little weight training with a little bit of walking when you’re over 50, I think, is the answer. So start a walking practice, my friends. Please enjoy, and I will talk to you next week. Take care, bye bye.

Hey, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me as your coach, now is the time to do it. You can join me in Get Coached in Scholars by going to This is going to be the best year ever. It’s your turn to change your life. Let’s go.

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