Walking Benefits for Mental Health

by Tracy Contini, Therapist

Why Walk?

As a Psychotherapist at Somerset Health & Wellness Centre, I am an advocate of encouraging my clients to walk more. It sounds ridiculously simple, right? I have found that individuals that walk at a fast pace three times a week for 30 minutes dramatically improve their symptoms. They also move through the problem that brought them to therapy more quickly.  

Here are some amazing things walking helps us with!

  • Exercise, such as walking, releases endorphins in our brains, reduces cortisol and this makes us feel better.
  • Medical and General Practitioners advise us that walking outdoors in nature can support us with many health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and aid us with post-cancer fatigue.
  • Even leisurely walking outdoors improves our mood, self- esteem, and increases our motivation. So get outside during your lunch break or get off the bus one stop earlier to get some walking time in.
  • When we walk in the sunshine we absorb Vitamin D and this helps us to reduce feelings associated with depression or having a low mood.
  • When we walk outdoors in nature it can inspire and support us to grow, heal and learn, develop a sense of belonging, whilst restoring our self-acceptance.
  • After walking outdoors, we are less likely to feel or tell ourselves we are ‘stuck’. We are more likely to move through emotions and figure out solutions to our problems.

Enjoy your walk…