Benefits of walking: Reasons why walking is so good for your mental health

Person walking outside surrounded by trees and nature, sun shining.

How does walking boost your mental health and wellbeing?

Did you know that walking not only gives you the physical advantages of exercise but mental ones too? Research has shown that walking on a daily basis can help lessen symptoms associated with chronic mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Walking is free and requires little to no additional equipment. You’ll notice that the more you do it, the more good benefits you’ll notice!

Here’s 6 reasons why walking is great for your mental health and wellbeing:

1. Walking boosts your energy

Walking improves blood flow throughout the body, particularly to the muscles and brain. This increased flow helps us feel more energised, similar to how our bodies feel after exercising.

2. Walking improves your overall mood

Did you know that walking releases endorphins into our bodies on a regular basis? One of the benefits of walking on a daily basis is that it allows us to unwind. Even if it is only for 15 minutes, going for a daily walk is essential and has a significant impact on our mood throughout the day.

3. Walking reduces stress and anxiety

Endorphins are known to not only boost our mood but also to lower our stress levels. Being physically active helps lower the risk of clinical depression, and spending more time in nature can also help to quiet the mind.

4. Walking improves your body confidence

Walking is accessible to many, regardless of physical ability. This makes it a great activity for individuals who want to include more exercise into their daily routine without putting their bodies through too much strain. Walking, despite its simplicity, will provide many of the same advantages as more intense exercise over time.

5. Walking helps to improve your sleep routine

Walking not only increases our energy levels, but it also increases our level of rest! Regular exercise can help us achieve deeper sleep and improve our sleep patterns. Walking is especially beneficial for people who have difficulty sleeping at night.

6. Walking brings more social opportunities

Being sociable is an important aspect of everyone’s well-being, and many people try to combine physical activity with social activities. Walking is an excellent option for those who want to get out and appreciate their environment with friends and family.

Join a local walking group!

Our regular wellbeing walks currently take place in Exeter and Torbay, and they’re designed to help support mental health and wellbeing in our local community.

These groups are part of our BeWell@StepOne service, offering the opportunity for people to come together and feel the benefit of getting out in the fresh air, connect with others and enjoy the positive effect that spending time outside in our wonderful environment can have. Increasing our activity levels and connection with others can be a key strategy in lifting mood and reducing anxiety. Joining a walking group is a great way to start, one step at a time!

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