Walking could be the easiest (and cheapest) way to take care of your mental health. Especially over the last two years, many of us have discovered a love for walking – probably as much as some other favourites like napping and taking long relaxing baths. During the darkest days of the pandemic, the daily walks served as the only reminders of the outside world – could be a bit of a lifeline when it comes to mental health.
It’s incredibly grounding about walking, especially amongst nature – a tree or two or a beautiful scenic park – where you can breathe fresh air, absorb natural vitamin D (sunlight) and can put your phone down for a few liberating moments and take in the world around you.
When I go on an evening walk, I find that it helps me to establish perspective at a time when everything else around me seems overwhelming. There is so much beauty all around us, and it exists outside of the insular little world that we created ourselves and it is really good to remind ourselves about this as much as possible. Plus it’s so refreshing to hear the birds twittering, watching the grass blowing in the wind and seeing squirrels squirrelling around, obliviously and utterly unfazed by our busy world, imminent economic crisis and all of the pain and suffering caused by the recent global events.
You will notice that the more you outside and get some fresh air, the more benefits you will notice. Plus walking is free and you can walk everywhere without any kind of additional exercising equipment.
- You’ll have a boost in energy – Walking is great at improving the blood flow throughout your body – including to the muscles and brain – this helps us to feel a lot more energised; which is very similar to how the body feels after exercising.
- It helps to improve a better sleeping routine – By walking, not only increases your energy levels, it also increases your levels of rest. Doing regular exercise can really help you to achieve better sleeping pattern and sleep deeper. Very beneficial for people who have difficulty sleeping at night.
- It brings more social opportunities – Walking is an excellent way to get out and appreciate the surrounding enviroment with family and friends. This is an imporant aspect mental health wellbeing – combine physical activity with social activities.
- Improves body confidence – Walking is free and accessible to everyone, regardless of physical ability. It’s great form of daily activity for individuals who want include more exercise into their daily lives, without putting their body under too much strain – walking is simple and can have more benefits compared to more intense exercise over time.
- Improves your mood – Are you aware that walking releases endorphins into our bodies on a regular basis? It’s a great tool to allow yourself unwind of an evening, after a busy an stressful day – even 15 minutes of walk can have a significant impact on your mood throughout the day.
So after a tough couple of years, it’s more important than ever to take extra care of our mental health and a prioritise getting outside into the fresh air more often. “Research has shown that walking on a daily basis can help lessen symptoms associated with chronic mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.” says steponecharity.co.uk
How do you unwind after a working day? What’s your preferred way to exercise? – walking, jogging or running…