Walk This Way For Enhanced Wellness

Walk This Way For Enhanced Wellness

May is National Walking Month which coincides with warmer weather and longer days (and less excuses to stay indoors and binge-watch TV). Walking is the ultimate wellness hack. It costs nothing in terms of money or skill and yet comes with a multitude of benefits for mental and physical health.

Studies say that walking briskly for just 30 minutes a day for five days per week can "reduce the risk of several age-associated diseases, exert anti-aging effects and help prevent age-related diseases, making it a powerful tool for promoting healthy ageing." (1)

And it's not just the physical activity that makes a difference, it's the environment you walk in too: a 2018 meta analysis concerning the health impact of being in green spaces showed statistically significant reductions in blood pressure, the stress hormone cortisol and heart rate, also in the incidence of diabetes, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. (2)

Leapfrog's founder Stephanie Drax aims for 10 hours of woodland walks in a month with her family, soaking up the immune-enhancing phytoncides from the trees themselves. Here are several more reasons why its so easy to walk your way to better health.

Physical Exercise: Walking is a low-impact exercise that engages various muscle groups, including the legs, core, and arms. It helps improve cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and boosts endurance.

Vitamin D Synthesis: Exposure to sunlight during outdoor walks allows the body to produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation.

Mental Well-being: Walking in natural environments can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Being surrounded by greenery or natural landscapes can have a calming effect on the mind and enhance the immune system.

Improved Sleep: Regular outdoor walks can help regulate your sleep patterns and improve sleep quality. Exposure to natural light during the day can also help synchronize your internal body clock, leading to better sleep at night.

Boosted Immune System: Spending time outdoors exposes you to a variety of bacteria and other microorganisms, which can help strengthen your immune system over time. Additionally, physical activity and sunlight exposure contribute to overall immune function.

Weight Management: Walking regularly, especially brisk walking, can aid in weight loss and weight management by burning calories and increasing metabolism. Combined with a balanced diet, outdoor walking can be an effective component of a healthy lifestyle.

Enhanced Cognitive Function: Walking stimulates blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function, creativity, and concentration. It can also help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Social Interaction: Walking outdoors provides opportunities for social interaction and connection with others. Whether you're walking with friends, family, or participating in group activities like hiking clubs, socializing while walking can contribute to overall well-being.

Increased Energy Levels: Regular outdoor walks can boost energy levels and combat feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Even a short walk can provide an instant energy boost by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles and brain.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases: Consistent outdoor walking has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. It helps lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.

Incorporating outdoor walks into your routine can have profound benefits for both your physical and mental health, making it a simple yet powerful way to enhance your well-being.



(1) Zoltan Ungvari et al. The multifaceted benefits of walking for healthy aging: from Blue Zones to molecular mechanisms PMID: 37495893

(2) Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett et al The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes PMID 29982151