Walking has a number of benefits, and you only compound the benefits when you go walking in nature. But
what are the benefits of nature walks? And how can you make the most of your nature walk? We’ll answer
these questions and more.
1. It Is a Low Impact Exercise
Too many people think you can’t burn calories unless you’re going for a run. Yet that tears up your knees
and puts too much stress on your joints. Go for a walk instead. It won’t damage your joints. It won’t
aggravate the pain in your back or hurt your ankles. You’re less likely to trip and fall if you just go for a
walk. Yet you’ll still burn calories. It just takes more time. Yet this can be to your advantage. If you get in
the habit of going for thirty to sixty-minute walk every day, you’re consistently exercising in a healthier way
than going to the gym once or twice a week. But you’ll be in good shape if you decide to spend twenty
minutes on an elliptical machine.
2. It Is Free
Going for a walk doesn’t require any sort of equipment. Just put on a pair of shoes and go. You could wear
sandals or tennis shoes. Let’s compare it to bicycle riding for exercise. You have to buy a bike and helmet,
and you could be ticketed for riding without a helmet. Weight training generally necessitates buying
weights. Going to the gym to work out on machines or take classes requires you to pay for a gym
3. It Has Psychological Benefits
Being in nature is good for your mental health. We evolved in nature, and that’s why modern life is by
nature stressful. This is why you can lower your stress level just by sitting by a water feature or sitting under
the trees. You’ll amplify the benefits by going for a walk or run outdoors, whether it is in a grassy park or
tree-lined trail. In fact, going for long walks in nature is a natural way to brighten your mood and fight
depression. If you have a history of seasonal depression, go for walks when it is bright outside instead of
going out after dark. Exposure to the sunlight helps to reset your internal clock. And the vitamin D your
body creates while you’re exposed to the sunlight is essential to a healthy immune system and strong bones.
Another benefit of going for regular walks outside is that it helps your body stay in sync with the seasons.
Go for a walk in the evening after work, and it becomes easier to relax at night and go to sleep. That’s
especially true if you don’t turn on the screens after you get home. However, you may need to set your schedule based on the weather. For example, you may need to go for a
walk early in the morning or later in the evening if it is very hot during the day and you don’t want to risk
4. You Can Do It Almost Anywhere
One of the points in favor of walking for exercise is that you can do it anywhere. Walk to the store. Walk to
school instead of driving. Walk to the park. We can do even better when we walk in a natural environment
instead of going to the gym. Walk along the local trails and walk along the perimeter of the dog park instead
of just sitting while your dog runs around. Walk around the sports field while your kids play. Go for a short
walk on a hiking trail, or you can hike the full five miles.
5. It Is a Great Family Activity
People often listen to podcasts or music while they’re running on the treadmill to occupy their minds. You
can do that while you’re walking. However, it is much easier to talk to people when you’re walking than
when you’re running. This is why going for a nature walk with your significant other every evening can
improve your relationship. In fact, it can improve your overall level of communication, because you’re away
from distractions like computers and household chores.
Take your child for a walk in the stroller, and they get out into the outdoors. More importantly, you can use
the opportunity to teach them the names of various objects. They can learn about trees, flowers, bushes, and
squirrels. Taking children for a walk is a great way to force them to have a conversation rather than letting
everyone hide behind their devices. After all, it is hard to walk while texting, and you can forbid them from
using the phone while on the walk.
6. It Can Be Educational
You can make the walk more educational, regardless of what your goals are. Go for a walk and have your
children navigate via an app. Or let them learn about latitude and longitude as they check their location via
GPS. Go on a walking tour, and use the opportunity to learn about history. You don’t have to visit local
monuments. It could be as simple as walking past local farms and old homes and talking about how people
in the area used to live.
7. You Can Combine It With Other Activities
Suppose you’ve made walks a daily activity. You can easily combine it with other activities. We’ve already
mentioned turning your daily walk into quality time with your family. You can also combine the walk with a
variety of other activities. Does your child’s school or your company wellness program reward litter
cleanups? Go for a walk with a pair of tongs and gloves, and clean up trash along the trail. Instead of
spending hours working at a given site, you can combine it with your regular walk. You’re making the areas
you spend the most time in more beautiful, and the task is as large or small as you want it to be. When
you’re done, you go home.
Your pets will love you if you’re often taking them for long walks in nature rather than taking them to the
dog park on the corner. They’ll get more exercise if they are following trails than if you have a short, basic
walk. Furthermore, they’ll get more mental stimulation from smelling the trees and sniffing for the scent of
small critters than if you simply took them to the dog park.
Going for nature walks is good for your physical and mental health. You can use it to connect with family
and friends or educate your children. The only questions you need to answer are when in the day you’d like
to go for your walk and where you’d like to go.