Walk your way to mental wellbeing
16 August 2019
By Hayley Carmichael
We improve our mental wellbeing simply by calling on our own two feet…
Breathe Easy this September…
As part of our Breathe Easy September campaign we are encouraging everyone to take up more active travel choices; and walking is one of the easiest ways to get from A to B whilst benefiting from mood boosting exercise.
What can a walk do for my mental wellbeing?
The humble walk has healing powers – it can reduce stress and anxiety and oddly enough it can even reduce fatigue, which might seem paradoxical but there is something about getting moving that lifts energy levels.
It has also been linked to a lift in self-esteem and mood, probably because of all those feel-good endorphins it releases.
In older people regular walks have been linked to improved memory, a reduction in the risk of dementia and improved cognitive skills.
And a good walk has been shown to improve sleep patterns, which can help everyone feel a bit less done in!
This is what the experts are saying…
Walking for health is a charity whose aim is to get those less active back on their feet and walking – here is why.
The NHS offers advice and info on walking for mental health.
Mind offer some guidance on the benefits of getting out into nature for a walk.
Tips to keep you walking
If you need some encouragement have a look at mental health mates, who organise group walks for people who may be experiencing some mental health problems.
Don’t set your goals too high, aim for short walks at first and build on them so you can feel good about your achievements and keep on going.
Take a bottle of water with you so you stay hydrated.