Recharge: how going on a walk can increase your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing

Many might be surprised to hear of the numerous rewards of going for a walk every day. Not only does walking keep people fit, but it has also been shown to increase productivity and creativity. Sadly, going for a walk is not possible for everyone. Some people may have physical disabilities that may prevent them or make it harder for them to walk. Others may live in areas where it is not possible for them to go for a walk for safety reasons. For many though, going for a walk is the only opportunity to get out of the house during the lockdown and a welcome break from work.

Getting the body going

Researchers have found that people who move regularly are physically healthier in the long-term. The type of activity a person does to get moving does not matter, what matters is consistency and how much time is spent on the activity. As little as five minutes of walking is enough to start noticing the benefits of the activity. However, doctors recommend 30 to 40 minutes of walking every day to stay well in the long run.

Clearing the mind and stabilising emotions

Many might think that it is necessary to hike through lush woods and rolling hills to see the benefits of walking but that is not the case. A five-minute “dose of nature” such as spending time in an urban park, is enough to boost a person’s self-esteem and lift their mood. Longer exposure to green spaces improves people’s ability to handle stress and increases attention span and memory function. Going on a walk also increases creativity, one of the reasons why famous authors such as C.S. Lewis, Ernst Hemingway, or Virginia Woolf choose to walk daily.

Getting in touch with others not only yourself

Walking has clear benefits for a person’s individual physical, mental, and emotional health but it can also help us feel less lonely during these difficult times. In many parts of the world, it is still possible to go on socially distanced walks with friends and family, and if not, calling a loved one while going on a walk will still help.

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