I am a self-confessed lazy cow. I always have been but it got so much worse back in 2013 when I passed my driving test and then even the shortest of journeys were car journeys. If I did ever walk anywhere it would always have been simply with the purpose of getting from A to B (the places I couldn’t drive) and I’m such a fast walker it was always a chore. It’s only been since getting a dog that I’ve began to enjoy walking and actually understand it’s benefits not only to the obvious – fitness but to mental health and below are the reasons why.
So I’m not going to pretend I understand the nitty-gritty of this subject but I’m sure everybody is aware that exercise, in general, makes your body release the happy hormone, endorphins. These improve your mood and help relieve any stress you’re experiencing.
A major one and one I think is the most beneficial (for me) is that walking helps improve your sleep pattern. Sleep is something I massively struggle with depending on my mood but walking really helps. My most recent example of this is back in October – November, I was really struggling with my sleeping pattern, struggling both to fall asleep and stay asleep. In November I went to Center Parcs for the weekend and of course, Center Parcs involves a lot of walking. I tend to not sleep very well in new places but I slept so well over that weekend where the fresh air literally knocked me out and it’s something I’ve continued to notice when I take Lokko on dog walks.
Nature is beautiful. That statement alone probably sounds cringe but if you’re anything like me then you really appreciate how pretty nature is. Therefore going for a walk can really help lift your mood for that reason alone. It’s also one of those things where everybody appreciates fresh air and even just that can make you feel happier / less stressed.
If you take on walking long distances or even upping it to jogging, you can notice improvements in firstly your health and secondly weight loss. Again, this isn’t for everybody but if you’re anything like me and you want to lose weight then this will improve your mental health as it will improve your self-esteem.
This is a short but sweet post as it’s simply something I wanted to share as it’s something that has really helped me. Even if your mental health isn’t necessarily something you struggle with, I think it’s so important for everybody to get outdoors every now and again and actually appreciate the simple, leisurely hobby of walking.
A tip I’d give would be to not be like the old me and be a rushing A to B walker. That isn’t enjoyable and will only aid the stress.
Hope you’re well!