Many people walk the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons, but many others do it simply seeking a challenge and are there for the experience. Whatever your reason is, walking the Camino will almost certainly change you and help you become a better version of yourself. Here UWalk.ie explores the top health and wellbeing benefits of the Camino:
Making friends for life
Everyone on the Camino is in transition. When you venture on a Camino walk that takes many days or even weeks, you will spend a lot of time with the people you are walking with. Some people have gone through many challenges in their lives and others are looking for a sense of achievement and fulfilment. Some are ticking the Camino off their bucket list and others come back year after year to complete another stage. Whatever the reason, you are sure to have great conversations; share life experiences and make friends for a lifetime.
Calming your mind
Walking is often called a form of outdoor meditation. That fresh breath that you will take while hiking and trekking will help you to calm your mind. Being out in nature and the enhanced oxygen intake will likely help you to quiet the voices in your head and live more in the moment.
We all know that contact with nature, forests, flowers, and clean air provide us with a feeling of serenity. Getting away from the noise, the hectic traffic and the pollution is the best way to reward ourselves. The fact that walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and no better way to improve you respiratory system and increase your fitness levels; particularly when you are walking approximately 20kms per day along the Camino!
Understanding the local culture
Apart from the fact that you will get to see the natural highlights of the area you are walking in, you will also get to understand the culture. While enjoying overnight stays in small family owned hotels, eating in local restaurants and getting to speak to the locals is the best way to immerse yourself in a countries traditions and culture.
When people reach the final destination of the Santiago cathedral, they are usually overwhelmed with happiness. Some feel peaceful and surprised by their achievement, while others feel relieved. No matter what you think at the beginning, it is almost certain you will finish this walk as a better version of yourself!
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