Why walking is good for mental health?

May is National Walking Month and studies have shown that physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our well-being. Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood. Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety.

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

Walking is free and you can walk everywhere without any additional equipment. You’ll notice that the more you do it, the more benefits you’ll notice.

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

1. It 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. It 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 reduced 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.

We have lots of walking challenges coming up within the charity including our annual Waendal Walk, taking place on Saturday 13th May to celebrate what would have been Kelly’s 29 th Birthday. More information about this in out ‘What’s On’ guide within this newsletter.

We also have our 3 Peaks Challenge coming up in the summer. To register your interest in taking part, please email katie.macdonald@wemindandkellymatters.org.uk

If you are really feeling up to the challenge, then there’s our Mount Kilimanjaro challenge taking place in September 2024. To register your interest, contact Sarah Ball on sarah@balls2marketing.co.uk