By Hettie Pigott- Senior Wellbeing Co-ordinator
2 min read
Walking is one of the most natural and innate forms of physical activity for humans, with that noted it also hold the power of a wide range of health and wellbeing outcomes. As with any physical activity it will benefit and improve your physical health, but there is something about walking that makes it even better for your mind. Whether you are walking alone or with someone from the same household, by the end of the walk you feel at refreshed and energised – well I know I do!
In modern life there is a pressure to focus on goals, outcomes, what’s next and the need to rush for one place or task to another. Giving yourself the time to go for a walk, is a great way to break away from these pressures and be very much in the here and now. There is a wealth of research showing the combined benefit of being active and the great outdoors and even short 10 minutes of walking significantly improve your mental wellbeing.
You may have heard of the term mindfulness; it has gained great coverage in recent years – but what is it? Mindfulness is taking notice of your thoughts, feelings, what is happening in the world around you and paying attention to the present moment. While on a walk, where distractions of busy life are minimal, it is a great time and place to be mindful. So, when you are on your next walk try some of the below mindful tasks and techniques and see how it makes you feel.
- Really look and see
When you are walking, take the time to notice the environment around you, such as: the first buds coming on flowers, how green the trees look, the birds in the trees.
Appreciate the feeling of the sun on your skin or the wind on your face.
Appreciate the smells around you, freshly cut grass, the May Flower scent..
- Take notice of your emotions
Recognise how the walk has made you feel, what emotions has the sights, the touch and smell of things made you feel.
Try and keep your mind focused on these things for 5-10 minutes at a time. Enjoy being outside, use it as a time for you and to take a break from everything else and focus on the here and now.
❗When going outdoors, please always follow the latest official advice on social distancing and hand washing