On a website dedicated to the importance of being outdoors, it would be ridiculous to ignore the importance of walking. Getting outside into nature is one aspect of it, walking through the world and observing it is next level.
Why do I love it so much?
For me it’s instinctive. No matter how much stress the world piles on me, I can feel it dissipate as I put one foot in front of the others in some form of outdoor space. I have enough self-awareness to know it started from my own childhood where walks on a Sunday afternoon are among my happiest memories. No matter where I am, what I am doing, what state of mind I am in, I can find an equilibrium in the simplest of activities – walking.
Why should we walk?
The health impacts of regular walking outdoors include reduction in levels of depression and/or anxiety, increased happiness, improvements in memory and cognitive function, a boost in immunity, increased levels of fitness, lower blood pressure and faster rehabilitation after illness. Walking makes us healthier, happier and brainier. Walkers are more likely to exhibit traits such as openness, extraversion and agreeableness. Neuroscientific research has pinpointed that walking can increase creativity and performance and effectively reverse cognitive ageing. Walking is our superpower.
Our brains evolved with movement in mind. That we have become more sedentary has done us no favours. Walking acts as an antidote to the malaises of 21st century living – for the deskbound, the sunlight-deprived, the under-active, all we need to do is go for a walk.Walking is the panacea to the modern day crisis of chronic illness.
Walking with others stimulates rhythms and coordination, an ease of communication and interpersonal bonds. Walking outdoors in nature provides a connection to something bigger, a sense of perspective and time which are hard to replicate on a treadmill.