If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’ve been on a hike before. It’s great for your body and mind! But sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to get outside again. Here I have five reasons why taking an outdoor walk can make all the difference to your health.
Walking outside to help your mind
Walking outside is one of the best ways to clear your mind and think more imaginatively, so it’s important to try and get out in nature often. It can be hard to get out of the house, though, especially if you’re in a busy city where it feels unsafe or uncomfortable. Maybe it’s hard to find time for a walk, especially if you can’t leave work behind.
However, walking outdoors has huge mental health benefits – there’s something about being in nature that helps us relax and feel more refreshed than ever after spending time among trees and plants. Walking outside helps you see things from a different perspective, which can lead to better problem solving skills and creativity. It can also help you stay focused on one task at a time.
Walking outside also provides fresh air and sunlight which can help improve moods and fight off depression. So take a break from work or study by taking a walk around the block, park, or neighbourhood, get out of the house for a change of scenery, the fresh air will do you good! And you may well get to see the world in a different light and experience new things.
Back Pain can be eased by walking
Walking is a great way to exercise and reduce back pain. When you walk, your muscles and joints in your lower back loosen up, which can help reduce muscle tension as well as any inflammation that may be causing the pain. You should try walking for at least 30 minutes each day, but if you’re not able to do this then 10-15 minutes will work too.
When you walk outside, your back muscles are forced to stretch and contract in a natural motion, which helps reduce the tension that builds up in your back from sitting for long periods of time. It’s easy to make walking outside part of your daily routine: just take a break every hour or so at home or school, step outside, and take a few minutes to walk around.
If you are working then try to fit a walk in before you start, during your lunch break, and after you have finished. 20 minutes three times a day will soon mount up to about 3 miles – a great amount to walk every day to fight off back pain. If you can find time for another 20 minutes then you’ll be averaging about the 10,000 steps mark – often quoted by doctors and health enthusiasts as the magic mark.
How walking helps with your heart health
Walking is a great way to get your heart pumping and improve your heart health, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. One of the best things is that it’s never too late to start walking – even if you have high blood pressure or diabetes. And you don’t need any specialist equipment – a pair of trainers and some comfortable clothes will suffice to start with.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. But you should try to aim for higher than this once you have got into the habit of going outside for a walk.
If you have any questions about how much walking you should be doing, talk with a doctor or other medical professional who will be able to discuss this with your own personal health history and goals in mind.
How to improve your lung capacity
Walking outside is a great way to improve your lung capacity and stamina and is an excellent way to get some exercise, which can help with performance.
If you’re not sure where to start, try walking for 10 minutes a time at first. Once you’ve gotten used to that, increase the time by 5 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes per session. As you get used to this, you can try to do this multiple times per day.
Improved lung capacity means improved physical fitness and better breathing, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Increased lung capacity also reduces the chance of respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, as well as improving your mood by reducing stress levels. Lungs are the body’s natural air purifier, so improved lungs will help you breathe easier.
Lower your stress levels by walking
Walking can reduce stress by releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers that make you feel happy. The release of endorphins during a walk can reduce pain, promote relaxation, have a positive effect on mood and behaviour and even help you sleep better.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins in response to physical activity – this release of endorphins during an intense workout is often described as feeling euphoric or “runner’s high”. Walking can also give you that feeling.
Walking also reduces stress by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. This hormone is responsible for feelings of happiness, and it also helps with concentration and memory.
Conclusion – 5 Benefits of an outdoor walk
In this short article we’ve seen how regularly walking outside can help your health and happiness. By taking a couple of walks outside each day you can help your mind, back, heart, lungs and anxiety levels. It’s simple, requires no special equipment, and can be enjoyed by anyone, so there’s no reason not to get walking outside more!
Fitting walks in on weekdays into your daily schedule can be a bit of a juggling experience. It is best to try and stick to a particular time, if at all possible, but obviously this is not always...
There's no doubt about it, sometimes you just don't feel in a good mood. Even the happiest of people have times when life gets on top of them, things get you down, and quite frankly you just want to...