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Walk in Nature to Soothe and Boost your Mind



I was never good at exercising regularly at a young age and until my late twenties, I did not practise any sports at all. It was only when I was going through a very challenging time, having moved to a new country on my own, that my body needed to move around the new place to feel it my own. It was then that I discovered the health benefits of walking in nature whilst becoming soon a magic wand whenever I felt the need to relax, recharge and reboot.


We spend less and less time outdoors, especially if you live in a busy city, like me, where everyone seems rushing to get to the next indoor venue. It’s interesting the outcome of studies which have found that people who live in cities spending no much time outside in green are more prone to anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses than individuals living outside urban centres.


So, what are the benefits of walking in nature? There is already a ton of studies which prove that spending time walking outside in green has amazing health benefits. Focussing on the mind, the most relevant benefits that come to my mind are as follows.


It reduces:


  • Stress

  • Anxiety;

  • Fatigue.


It improves:


  • Self-esteem;

  • Mood;

  • Sleep quality.

I do agree with the above findings and I have to say that I feel much more energetic, positive and committed to future plans, after a long walk in the fresh air. The same is valid for any physical exercise. However, walking in nature is an intentional movement I would add to any other of your choice.

THE TIP:


It is said that you don’t have to take long walks though to benefit from it. Studies revealed that even a gentle 20-minute walk produces health benefits for both the body and mind. However, I suggest you increase the amount of time outside in green as you will get stronger physically and mentally. You could set yourself a goal, a destination to reach. This will keep your mind focussed and give you a great sense of achievement when you get there. I once walked 18 miles on a steep coastal path with no training. It was a bit reckless and I don’t suggest you do the same but instead move gradually whilst building up your strengths. Going back to my experience, I managed all those challenging miles and the feeling of empowerment, achievement and satisfaction after reaching my destination is something I can still remember nowadays.


Set some time apart in your busy schedule, a sort of “me time” and start to walk regularly. Make a list of places or destinations you would like to walk to. It could involve taking a mean to get to the place and from there start to walk. Also, there are plenty of trails you can explore. Make sure you always know where you are heading, wear warm clothes if it’s winter, carry some snacks, loads of water and the beloved umbrella if you live in the UK or any other rainy place. Remember, that if you walk on the coast or in the mountain the weather can change suddenly, so make sure you are prepared for those sudden changes and know where you can find a shelter along the way. Lastly, stay safe and enjoy the great feeling your body and mind will get straight after you reach that destination. I promise!


Love,

Paola.

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