Walks are evolving as the go-to exercise since running can be hard on your joints and going to a good gym can be hard on your wallet. With all the stress and anxiety of our lives, it’s hard to stay present in the here and now. From our phones to our laptops, getting caught up in the world of screens is so easy–we don’t even think about it. That’s why so many people have been flocking to walking as a form of mindful exercise to escape the everyday stress of life. Especially with the ever-changing COVID restrictions in public gyms, going for a walk alone and connecting with nature has a new appeal in the exercise world.
It all started at the beginning of summer with the infamous hashtag on TikTok #HotGirlWalk. Every day, new TikTok users shared different walk routines to try out, and soon even health experts were weighing in on just how beneficial walks can be– both physically and mentally.
You’re not just exercising your body anymore, you’re also exercising your mind.
Carving time out of your day to go on a walk can be like blocking out the world and giving yourself some well-deserved ‘me time.’ Let yourself stop scrolling and start tapping into all the things in your subconscious that you’ve pushed aside. These things can look like goals, dreams and affirmations. Sometimes we let ourselves slip through the cracks of daily life, and our positive thinking goes along with it.
Pro tip: As you’re setting out on your walk, don’t just plug your thoughts away by putting your headphones in. Allow yourself to actually have this moment with nothing interrupting your thoughts or blocking your mind.
The purpose of a mindfulness walk is to be gentle with yourself and focus your thoughts on the things in your life that you don’t otherwise allow to occupy your time. Maybe you want to express gratitude for what you have, or work on developing a more positive mindset. Spend time acknowledging your strengths and how far you’ve come or think about your dreams and goals that you want to start putting into action.
Low-impact and safe, mindfulness walks help give you that much needed break from reality. Walking can also boost blood flow from your brain to your body, which does wonders for your sleep quality and releases endorphins that give you an extra pep in your step for the rest of the day. Especially if you’re taking a walk outside, being in nature is an instant mood booster and helps alleviate stress.
Whether it’s a long walk to your favorite coffee shop or a short walk around your neighborhood, treat yourself and your body to a nice walk that lets you celebrate the most important thing in your life: you.