A Step in the Right Direction: The Benefits of Walking to Your Mental Health

June 13, 2022

The sun is shining, and there is no better time to get outside and soak it all in. Are you looking for an activity to maximize your summer? Consider taking a daily walk! The benefits outweigh the costs that we often associate with walking. 

When individuals create a walking routine, physical health is not the only aspect improving. People can experience the best of both worlds by also improving their mental health. In fact, walking frequently can help ease symptoms to chronic conditions like anxiety or depression.

Benefits of Walking

There are multiple benefits when implementing a walking routine. Some include:

  • Stress relief
  • Improvement in mood
  • Reduced tiredness
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Maintained mobility
  • Maintained weight
  • Improved cardiovascular health and function
  • Increased metabolism
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Bolstered brain

Not only does walking produce self-improvement, but it can also include helping others improve though accountability. Get together with some friends and take a walk together. Socializing is great for your mental health, and an accountability partner can help establish a firm routine for you and the other person.  

How does one create a walking routine?

It is important to start small and take it day-by-day. The more you walk, the stronger your endurance will become. It is suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to walk 30 minutes a day. Although, that doesn’t all have to be walked at once. Break it up into smaller intervals.

Walking Routine Tips

Here are some other tips to consider when constructing a walking routine:

  • Start with a simple goal
  • Make walking enjoyable
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
  • Do it safely
  • Don’t get down on missed days
  • Switch up routes and scenery
  • Slowly increase distance or time

Creating a walking habit does not have to be scary. Lace up your shoes and start today to experience the benefits it has to offer! However, it is important to note that walking is not a substitute for proper mental health care.

Call 800-992-6292 or visit www.prairieview.org if you are having deeper concerns about your mental health. We are here to walk with you.