Walking For Your Mental Health

Even as a qualified fitness instructor, I find the idea of strenuous exercise quite daunting. I’ve fallen off the wagon and been quite lazy over the last few months, especially since I quit working at the gym. Gathering motivation when you’re depressed is very difficult unfortunately.

However, I try my best to keep my fitness up with something I genuinely enjoy, and that’s walking. Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise in the fitness world as it’s deemed ‘not enough’. But, this post is to tell you that it absolutely is enough and you 100% will receive great benefits from regular brisk walking.

The physical benefits of walking can include;

  • Reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease
  • Increased cardiac & pulmonary fitness
  • Encouraged weight loss and reduction of body fat
  • Increased bone strength
  • Increased muscle endurance
  • Boosted immune system

The mental benefits of walking can include;

  • Improved mood with the release of endorphins
  • Reduction of stress & anxiety
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved memory
  • Increased relaxation
  • Helps to control addiction

I enjoy walking for a lot of these reasons but for a few personal reasons too. As I’m not working at the moment I find it very difficult to separate my days, so it all ends up a big blur at times. So, it’s very important for me to get outside as part of a daily routine.

I also genuinely just love being outside in nature. The smell of fresh air is far too underrated and I could happily sit outside for hours with the sun on my face taking big, deep breaths. I find it so relaxing and it really helps me to feel at peace.

Walking ticks a lot of boxes for me and that’s why I love it so much. I’m very lucky to live in Cornwall as I’m surrounded by lots of beautiful places and the coastline is all around me, so there’s always lots to explore.

If you’re struggling with your MH and haven’t allowed your body some exercise, I would definitely recommend giving regular walking a go! Find advice from the NHS on starting out walking here.

Here’s a walk I went on yesterday evening – beautiful!

 

15 thoughts on “Walking For Your Mental Health

  1. This is fab. I started running when I was doing my Erasmus in Paris really as a way to see more of the city, but since then it has become such a fab way to keep on top of my anxiety. I love running in the morning, especially now when it’s actually light, and there are very few people out and about yet. It’s very peaceful!
    Lisa | http://www.whatlisadidnext.com

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      1. If you fancy it, the Couch to 5K app by Zenlabs is absolutely fab and totally manageable! I do find it really difficult, but I feel brilliant afterwards 😉

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  2. There’s also a fair amount of research showing that it’s particularly beneficial to walk through parks – even 5-10 minutes a day in green space can have a noticeable long term impact on our mental health.

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  3. I love walking so much and feel blessed to live in a very walkable neighborhood, with my favorite park two blocks away. I’ve been working through grieving the loss of a family member, and it has really helped to go outside and take a walk when I start to feel myself getting really sad. The movement really helps with processing.

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