If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk. – Hippocrates
Walking is one of the most easily accessible and versatile fitness activities. More and more people have taken up walking during the coronavirus lockdown. Having some time outside the home each day is not only beneficial to our physical well being, but it can also be enormously helpful to our mental and emotional health too. There is something about walking that helps to ground and centre you. If you walk regularly then you will gradually notice improvements in your fitness and your mood.
Even a short walk can help take you away from current worries and reduce your emotional stress. Taking a walk can clear your head. It gives you time to think. If you have a problem or a situation to solve, taking a walk can boost your creativity and help you come up with a solution. It can give you a new perspective.
Allow the feel good factor
Walking is one of those activities where you can energise or meditate. A slow walk may be meditative and soothing. A quicker walk can raise your heart rate and this can help boost your energy levels, as well as reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.
Stimulate your senses
The Woodland Trust says that walking through woodland can offer “a real treat for the senses”, with lots of different things to see, hear, smell and touch. Being in touch with your senses and being curious about how the environment changes every day – can help you feel energised and alive.
Relieve your stress
Many people noticed louder birdsong during lockdown – possibly because there was less human made noise around. Many people have said that the sound of birds tweeting offered “some relief from mental fatigue and stress”.
Sharpen your thinking
Even 30 minutes of brisk walking “can improve your thinking skills” as well as slowing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of dementia. Doing exercise before a mental task “may quicken reaction time and sharpen decision making”.
Boost your creativity
Research has also found that walking can boost a person’s creative inspiration by up to 60%. This uplift can happen during and after a walk –especially if you are in touch with nature. Being in green spaces really lifts our mood.
Strengthen your resilience
Regular walking can help you to cope with worries. You can gain perspective on recent events and create some distance from them. Walking really can help shift that bad mood.
So head outdoors for a few moments of calm, perspective and hope. It’s particularly good of course when the sun is shining.