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Why walking is good for mental health


For dog owners, ‘walkies’ are a part of the daily routine. And even if you’re not a dog owner, that shouldn’t stop you from reaping the benefits of regular strolls. We’ve rounded up 5 reasons to get your stride on…

Couple walking outside with their dog in countryside

It’s a time-out

Consider a walk to be a breather. A chance to escape the housework, school run or never-ending Zoom calls, and get some fresh air and be alone with your thoughts. As all regular ramblers can attest, walking helps reset the mind and improves focus, so it’s a great remedy if you’re struggling with a particular task.

It’s a stress and anxiety reliever

When we experience things that make us feel stressed or anxious, our body goes into flight or fight mode. This, in turn, can lead to things like difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations and brain fog. Any kind of exercise that raises your heart rate can potentially release feel-good hormones and help stabilise your mood and release tension.

It aids sleep

Woman sleeping peacefully in bed

The power of a good night’s sleep should never be underestimated. In fact, poor sleep patterns can have serious negative effects on our mental and physical health. Walking outside means we get exposure to light, which helps regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle; known as the circadian rhythm.

It boosts mood

Walking at a brisk pace will release serotonin, dopamine and endorphins in the body among other things. This little blend of feel-good hormones works wonders to lift the spirits.

It increases energy

There's no escaping the fact that a sedentary lifestyle leads to lower energy levels and less drive and enthusiasm. Walking increases blood flow, regulates hormones and leads to a range of other positive effects that raise energy levels considerably.

It connects us to nature

Two parents playing with their child and walking dog outside

Countless studies have shown a relationship between exposure to nature and improved mental health. Regular outdoor exercise is proven to promote increased wellbeing, while the green open spaces themselves promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing.

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