I am not here to repeat the utter tripe that started the whole #JustGoForAWalk frenzy on twitter a little while ago (if you don’t know what happened, basically someone said to the mental health community that their depression and anxiety could be cured by ‘just going for a walk’ – make of that what you will). As an anxiety sufferer myself, I know fully well that just ‘going for a walk’ does not cure all your mental health concerns. But… whilst it won’t cure you completely, walking, exercise and getting outside into nature and the fresh air can have a huge positive impact on your mental (and physical) wellbeing. From my own experiences, I wanted to share some of the ways me and my mental health has benefitted from it.
1. Exercise: Exercise is important anyway but it can really affect mental wellbeing in a positive way. I always feel more mentally energised and less anxious after having been for a walk. A long, slow walk or a shorter, brisk walk – it doesn’t matter. Just get out there and get the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing! Listen to your own mental health: take it at your own pace and do what makes you comfortable.
2. Getting in touch with nature: I love nature – I love being in the countryside on occasion and taking short breaks in remote parts of the UK, away from my life near London. Going for a walk around a nice park or on a field is amazing because nature is a huge, wonderful thing and can often help relax you and put things into perspective. There’s so much beauty in the world… Let’s get out there and enjoy it!
3. Spending quality time with people: I go for walks with my mum and I try to do that every day as it’s a nice relaxing time to just spend with her – and the dog of course! Which brings me into my next point…
4. Meeting new people: Getting outside and going for dog walks is a great way to meet new people and other dog walkers are so damn friendly! This is great for my mental health – connecting with people who you don’t know and connecting over a shared interest. Also, who would pass on the opportunity to stroke and cuddle some seriously cute dogs?! If you’re not a dog owner (and don’t fancy putting a lead on your cat), joining a walking or running group could be a great alternative.
5. It gets you out of your own head: Being outside, exercising and embracing the fresh air and the nature can help massively in getting you out of your own head which is incredibly hard to do when, like me, you suffer from anxiety (and other mental conditions). We’re always so caught up with what our brain is telling us, even if it’s completely irrational. Being outside in nature can help me switch off. Exercising can help me focus on something physical – rather than something mental.
This post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing – a mobility company which provides the necessary healthcare and mobility for each person’s individual needs. Fenetic strive to ensure that everyone of all ages, backgrounds and whatever personal care they may need can get outside, be active and embrace the outdoors. I’m teaming up with Fenetic Wellbeing to promote their #WalkForWellbeing campaign and am focusing on mental health and the benefits that being active and getting outside can have on mental health conditions. Whatever your struggle, whatever your fight, we all deserve the best possible wellbeing.
Along with this post, I’m giving one reader the chance to enhance their walking activities this winter and win a ‘Winter Walking Kit’ which includes; gloves and hand-warmers (to keep you toasty!), an umbrella (just in case), a snack bar (in case you get peckish), a thermos (if you fancy a brew on the go) and a bag to keep it all in. Whatever the weather, we should all be able to get outside comfortably. To win, just click HERE to take you to the Rafflcopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing. All thoughts and opinions are my own but this post may be in return for compensation and/or products.
This was very inspiring and thought you may be interested in my blog! XO https://beyoutifulinsideoutblog.wordpress.com/
Reblogged this on Plan Act and Relax and commented:
Interesting blog post.
This is a pretty cool read!
I agree whole heartily, I used to shun exercise in general but since starting at the gym and going for walks in the beautiful surrey hills (which I’m blessed to live by) I have noticed such a difference.
Walking outside is a human gift many of us fail to cherish. We have come from the wild, our minds are wild (sometimes to much), but we need to embrace the fresh and natural outdoors.
I enjoy the crisp air in winter which wakes you up and bites at your cheeks and the frost that provides a delicious crunch underfoot!
This is great I suffer from depression and back problems and I’m starting going on walks just little steps at first
Walking through the frosty grass on a cold morning really makes u feel alive!
Love the frosty mornings, crispy walks and seeing the frost on the cobwebs.
What I love the most is the fact it’s a great time to be able to think 🙂
I love it over autumn when there are big piles of crunchy leaves to jump in and then autumn/winter with the big puddles and when it snows and your the first set of foot prints 😀
I love the fresh air and meeting & greeting people walking.
Watching the sunrise in snow in the depths of winter. 🙂
My husband an I love to walk, this time of year is nice crisp and fresh makes you feel wonderful.
Kicking the leaves around with the children 🙂 hot chocolate with marshmallows
I love snow – give me a snowy walk and I’m in wonderland 🙂
Love the fresh air and the lovely country side
I love being able to go for a nice walk and take gorgeous photos!
I actually like getting all wrapped up and walking my son to school. Nothing like a good brisk walk in the fresh air in the morning!
Nice to get some fresh air and walk through the fallen leaves in the park with the kids
I love going on walking adventures , it’s great for my mental health . I love taking photographs as well .
There is nothing nicer than a lovely walk through the local woods during the Autumn and Winter months. There is something about the cold nipping at your nose that’s so invigorating and helpful at clearing your mind.
I love putting on winter woollies and feeling all snug 🙂
I love crisp mornings in my nice snuggly coats
I love a good walk to clear the mind and to get some fresh air. I especially love crisp winter mornings.
The fresh country air
I love the fresh air and the peace and quiet of the countryside
I love walking on dry, crisp sunny winter days. It’s exhilarating and stimulating
going for long walks helps me clear my head and also help me with my well being. i like walking in the winter to help me feel better about all the seasonal food that i consume during the the christmas period.
cool crisp fresh air the sounds of crunching under foot
I love walking my dogs on the beach in winter, the solitude and feeling of peace it brings. Also seeing the waves crashing and the dark clouds rolling overhead, it makes me feel refreshed.
Its great, especially if its been snowing, to wrap up in a nice warm coat and get some fresh air and then back home where its nice and warm to snuggle up in x
i love frosty mornings, dew drops on spider cobwebs and the cool crisp air on your face x
We love to get out and about. Plenty of layers on in case we get too warm after a while. Even though we live in a city we are very lucky to have amazing walking trails nearby.
I love the crisp morning air
I live in a beautiful Oxfordshire village called Ewelme and I love to walk my dog, Lizzie, across the cow common and the fields surrounding the village. She is a little bit mad (being a rescue dog) so she can really let loose and run around as much as she likes because the fields are usually not teeming with people. I like nothing better. Fresh air, open spaces, a companionable dog (sometimes) 🙂
I love walking through the woods by me, you can see all the changes in the trees and plants
exercise in winter air
cold and crisp I don’t care
it keeps me fit
and fingers crossed I win this winter walking kit
Our family walk every weekend in the woods or across public footpaths for ages with our dog
I like long walks with the dog when the kids are at school a bit of me time
I love the freshness and crispness of the air – it is great getting out of the house and once you warm up it is great!
I love having a walk in the fresh air, the kids and me often visit the beach and it is great for blowing the cobwebs away 😉
i like going for a stroll in winter the cold air helps clear my mind
The fresh air and if in winter the snow nothing like walking in the snow
I couldn’t agree more with this. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and I often go on long walks to clear my head xx
The fresh air and the beautiful coloured leaves
I love exercising because it is destressing
I am a warm weather walker in local parks but I love walking around garden centres in the winter when they are quiet and identifying trees and shrubs that look good all year.
I find it hard to convince myself to go out for a run in this weather but once I do I am glad as the crispness of the cold and beauty of a winter morning makes me thankful
I love jumping in the piles of leaves with my two boys.
I love autumnal walks and cycling with my children
Fresh air, hiking and spending time with the family.
I like the chill in the air when I’m walking aand there’s always the promise of a warm drink waiting at home.
It’s always good to blow the cobwebs away with a risk walk.
I love taking the dogs out in winter, when its not raining, and enjoy to cool crisp, fresh air.
Long walks any time of year clear my head and keep me sane!
Fresh air and spending time with my dog
What I like about getting out in the Winter is that the air seems cleaner
I love getting out with my running club in the Winter, I wouldn’t have the motivation to go out in the dark alone!
I love walking on a crisp sunny Winter day and coming home with rosy cheeks 😀
I love breathing in the fresh, crisp air when I’m walking
I love wintery fresh air and getting away from technology.
I love the crisp fresh air and hearing leaves crunch under my feet in the park.
I like to kick tho all the leaves in Autum and in winter I love building a snowman
The fresh air exercise and natter sets me and my friend up for the day xx
The yearly winter walking holiday in Iceland is great.
I love walking my dog as its good for both of us 🙂 🙂
I love the fresh air and meeting new people
love to breath in the crisp cold air when i’m out walking in winter
I love to walk on the shore in winter. The beach is empty, wild and different every day. I shall call this my beach bag.
I love walking the dog in the cold weather I find it so fresh. And invigorating wrapped up all snugly, there are less people around and you can really enjoy the surrounds
there is always someone or something interesting to see
i love walking with my dog and the kids a bit of freshair does us good
A good stroll makes you feel alive and I especially like walking in warm summer rain – so refreshing!
It’s a chance to clear my head. Such a cliche but it really works.
Walking is a way of life for me as i don’t own a car.I love walking the coastal path and breathing in the sea air
Love getting out in the fresh air and seeing the lovely colours of the leaves
Love walking live on the coast so beach combing for me never knoww what you may find all kinds of treasure amber driftwood etc
Love cold clear frosty mornings, when the wind is still and there is no one about. Only the sounds of your feet crunching along the icy floor.
Wrapping up warm and heading out for a walk with my 3 little girls is lovely in the Autumn and Winter. We collect twigs, jump in leaves and look for rainy cobwebs. Magical!
Great for when we go a walk a long to the allotment many a time we have been caught out lately
I love walking listening to the birds and kicking the autumn leaves under my feet
love to get outside in the hills and walk with the children, not only is the exercise good but it is the perfect time to talk and bond as a family 🙂
I love that it is so refreshing I love seeing all the frosty scenery too looks so pretty.
i love the outside for being one with nature and a good brisk walk is good for the heart & mind
I love being outside because i get to spend quality time with my dog x
I love your post!! I always feel better after being outside enjoying nature.
There is nothing better than getting out and about to clear the head
I love taking our dogs out, especially in the snow!
I love getting out and about in the winter and trying to spot different birds in the trees – easier because of the lack of leaves. Also dogs don’t get too hot so it is ideal for taking them out for a walk in very cold weather.
love kicking the leaves with the kiddies x
love getting outside on a crisp bright day for a long walk
Getting outside is my thing, I recently climbed Kilimanjaro and there is nothing better han getting out in the fresh crisp sunny air and getting to the top of a hill/peak/mountain!
I love looking at all the different colours of the leaves on the trees in Autumn.
I live in a small Welsh community called Six Bells, a former mining town in the South Wales Valleys. In 1960, an explosion ended the lives of 45 miners, devastating the families of those involved. In 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the disaster a 66ft high statue of a miner called “The Guardian” was erected. Around its base, plaques were put on it naming all 45 who lost their lives that day. In conjunction with this, the whole area was landscaped, with a visitor centre and footpaths running through it as part of the Ebbw Fach Trail. At any time of the year, the walk around the Six Bells Guardian path is an amazing and moving experience, but in Winter, with the trees bare of leaves and cold, sharp air to stir the soul, the view of this statue, towering over the site, visible for the entire walk around the trail is a sober reminder of how lucky we are today, and how privileged we are to be in the presence of such a beautiful mark of respect.
I like to kick through the leaves whilst walking with my nieces and the dogs.
I couldn’t agree more with you re the whole #JustGoForAWalk thing. I find it quite hard to go outside and go for a walk, even though I know I will feel better once I have done so. If anything, it is easier in Autumn and winter because there are fewer people about and it gets dark earlier.
I love nature and my surroundings and love feeling the crisp air against my skin.
I love nature and the smell of it – the clean one. I love to run outdoors.
even though its cold the air seems so much nicer, we have a lovely walk near us where we take the dog and our daughter can have a little adventure looking for fairy’s and sneaking past the trolls under the bridge.
The cold crispy morning walks.
i like that you get to put your hats and gloves on 🙂
I love getting fresh air in my lungs no matter the weather.
Would be ideal for the bracing winter walks.
I love long walks in the countryside – I find it very therapeutic. Unfortunately I don’t have time to do it anymore.
Love getting out for long winter walks with the dogs even better if it’s in the snow.
i love walking through the woods with my grandaughter x
I love going out on winter mornings for a stroll because it is very invigorating!
Love walking through crisp autumn leaves
I love getting outside as I love the fresh air and I find nature so relaxing 🙂 x
Fresh air and a sense of freedom
We don’t run a car because we live in a city so walk everywhere. I find it really liberating, it clears my head and gets the blood pumping. I *always* feel better after I’ve been for a walk. Winter walks are the best because you get to warm up with hot chocolate when you get home 🙂 .
we love walking down by the river wrapped up warm, looking around at the colourful leaves and half-naked trees xx
I go bird watching and it’s lovely to get out on a crisp autumnal day, birds are easier to see when there are no leaves on the trees!
i love walking with my two dogs, so much fun
I enjoy being close to nature and find it easier to be motivated to exercise outside than in a gym.
Getting out with the dog helps my depression no end
it puts me in a good mood having got out in the fresh air
I love taking the dog for a walk in the autumn woods where she can kick the leaves and roll around in them
Great article; I loved reading about this from a mental health perspective.
I find the sensory experience of nature very beneficial. The sounds and smells are very calming, especially compared to the city, and getting comfortable in terms of sensory input is hugely important to my mental health.
Your point about it getting you out of your own head is a big part of it, too; it’s amazing how cleared-out spending time outdoors can make one feel, you’re so right about that.
I love not having to think for a bit, and feeling refreshed afterwards.
It makes me feel better to get outside,especially when walking the dog x
I like the crisp air, not sure the person pushing my wheelchair is so keen on winter weather though!
Love the fresh air and setting an example to my son to get out and exercise.
I love the fresh air and how it gets blood circulating. I walk every day and I try to walk quickly. I’m a lot fitter than I was a year ago!
I love the fresh air and how good I feel after exercising outside
I love kicking up the golden leaves in my wellies
I love the feeling of freedom I have when I’m in the great outdoors.
I love getting out on my bike still. U just need the right clothing and go a bit slower but you actually feel alot better when you get back home than a summer ride out. If it’s to icey then I’m happy walking the river bank planning next year’s fishing in my head.
Get outside and make the most of the day as it’s a beautiful time of year
I love to go out for a walk when it feels really fresh, it really helps my mood and its so nice to just enjoy whats outside your front door
I started walking a few months ago as exercise to help my weight and blood pressure issues and I cannot believe how much better I feel. It really makes you aware of what is going on around you and I sleep better as well
I find that a good stroll in Winter can get the blood pumping a lot better than it does in the summer and you definately feel the benefit more.
Gives us bonding time as a family, especially in winter when we spend most days wrapped in blankets lol
I love a brisk walk on a dry cold winter day as there is nothing better to clear away the cobwebs and stuffy air
A brisk walk in Winter is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in my body, helping me to feel more alert and alive.
I love the fresh air at this time of year. My mum and I try to do a 6 mile walk every week and she is 76. I think to keep moving is very important.
I enjoy taking in all the lovely views and I definitely love connecting with nature as well 😀 Walking outdoors is a great time to think and reflect on the beautiful creation.
I’m a big fan of walking, in all weathers and try and get out most days for a walk. I love the changing colours of Autumn and the crispness of the weather in winter, it always puts a smile on my face.
I just love all of the different colours! I like the cool breeze and wearing warm scarves, seeing little birds chirping happily in the snow!
Yes, (minus 3 & 4 for me as I like to be alone or with the dog) most of this is exactly what helps me deal with my issues! No matter what I’m dealing with, getting out to take some wildlife photos etc always helps me. I’m lucky to live where I do because my 15 min walk to work every morning is perfect for starting my day in a good way.
Maybe it’s because I live ‘rurally’ but I get extremely down and stressed when in cities and around a lot of people and/or buildings but people never seem to understand and tell me how much the love London etc. So it’s nice to hear others do find comfort and peace out in the sticks.
I am a keen rambler – I love the the peace and quite when walking
I’m a huge fan of walking, I don’t go to the gym but I do walk every day and at least a few times a week will clock up 5-10 miles. It is so good for my mental health but also my physical health aswell. I’m lucky to live a 10min walk from a lovely wooded estate but would walk anywhere.
It sometimes helps lift my mood when I feel down about how dark it is now!
I suffer depression,, and my biggest and best cure is getting wrapped up and going on long walks around the coastline where i am lucky enough to live, its so quiet in the winter, but the beauty remains, nothing like openspaces and a glistening frost to lift the spirits!
Exercising in winter is a great way to keep warm.
making snow angels
I love seeing the autumn leaves on the ground whilst walking in the park
We like to wrap up warm and take a walk through the woods , lots of nice colours animals and things to see and it gets us out the house
I love how my mood is always lifted when I go for a long walk
Mental health issues are complex and often difficult to define in any given individual but being in touch with nature, getting fresh air and exercise is all part of a balanced life style. We all need that. It’s just a pity that some who have never experienced mental illness either themselves or in someone close to them, can come up with some simplistic ‘cure’ which is just another way of telling people, with often serous conditions, to ‘pull themselves together’.
I love getting out with our dog during the winter – we wrap up warm (she has her coat) and we walk briskly! It is always lovely to come home to warm slippers and a nice coffee and the blast of fresh air keeps me awake and alert as having the central heating on often makes me feel sleepy throughout the day.
I love walking with my little boy, it gives us both some quiet time 🙂
I completely agree with your points, I walk outside at a local park at least 5 days a week and love it. Creative post idea!!
Walking makes you feel so much better and makes winter a more positive thing
My favourite pastime in the cold weather is going to watch my older grandson play football and run in cross country races. This prize would be ideal for those activities.
I love how bracing it can be outside, and then you get in tired but happy and snuggle down on the sofa. Great for wellness especially in the winter months.
I get out and about every day, rain or shine and can’ imagine not doing. I enjoy the changing seasons but what I most love about winter is the beauty of a frosty morning.
i love taking my dogs walking all the time i especially love a winter walk as you feel free fab giveaway thank you xx
I love the fact that it makes me feel more alert but at the same time more relaxed, it’s just good for the soul.
PERFECR FOR A COLD DAY
i love walking in the winter all bundled up the air is fresh , theres no better feeling 🙂
Walking with my dogs has helped me on low days.
I love the clean crisp air and getting warm by exercising outdoors
I love to walk, and it is true, you really can walk your blues away. Sometimes you won’t want to turn around and go home, but that’s another story.
Did I just read somewhere that you are offering some promotional space in January? I am trying to put together a launch for my finished mystery thriller trilogy and have already lined up a few possibles. e-mail me? email@example.com
Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.