Many people walk as part of their exercise regularly. However, now it is something that is recommended we all do once a day, during lockdown to keep us healthy and fit, both mentally and physically.
An American report in 2018 concluded that walking is associated with improved mental and neurological health.
Walking improves quality of life and helps with:
- fewer symptoms of depression;
- lower incidence of depression;
- reduced feelings of anxiety;
- improved sleep quality;
- improved cognitive function;
- reduced risk of dementia.
Ten reasons to enjoy walking
Is walking a chore that you feel you have to do, or is it something you love?
Focusing on different things when out for a walk help if you are in the former category.
We asked Creative Nature team member Polly to share her ten things she loves about walking:
- The fresh air and being outdoors.
- She has learnt to slow down, and really look around her on her walk; and she’s noticed things she wouldn’t have noticed in the past.
- She loves to walk at dinnertime, so that she can smell the different dinners being prepared where she lives.
- Taking different routes each time, so that she sees parts of her neighbourhood she wouldn’t otherwise have visited.
- Concentrating, and listening to the sounds around her – it’s a game to guess where those sounds are coming from. What bird is that?
- Having time to herself, after spending so much time with the family.
- Saving money; walking doesn’t cost as much as joining a gym.
- Taking healthy snacks that she can eat on the go; something else you can’t do in the gym.
- Talking to friends on the phone, or ‘Face time’ – a great way to socialise when you can’t meet friends in person. Though not a good idea if you are crossing roads, even in lockdown.
- Going for a walk just before sunset, when it’s still daylight, and returning looking up at the stars.