8. Improve Your Mental Health
Most of these walking benefits come from a brisk walk that gets the heart pumping, but when it comes to mental health, a leisurely walk can have just the same benefits to a brisk one. Walking mindfully helps us to take notice of our surroundings, and we might see things that we’ve never seen before, even if we’ve lived or worked in the area for years.
Next time you walk, take time to look up at the buildings that surround you and take note of the architecture or quirky little things people might have on their balconies. Look down too, and notice all the signs of nature still doing its thing in the face of adversity, such as little weeds growing through pavement cracks. How amazing?
Take deep breaths and take in all the sights, smells and sounds of where you are. It’s incredibly mentally rewarding. Exercise such as brisk walking also releases endorphins, feel good chemicals such as serotonin that make us feel good, almost on a high. So mix it up between brisk walking and a leisurely stroll and feel all those endorphins at work. Studies show that walking can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and negativity as well as boosting esteem and reducing the effects of being socially withdrawn. So it really is what the doctor ordered!