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Walk Benefits You Didn’t Know About

Teen girl in black pants, a red jacket, and curly, short hair walking on a dirt path during golden hour.  Below, "Benefits of Walks" is written, with little doodles all around the image.

In this BIT: Do you ever ask yourself “why should I go for a walk?” Your answer lies here, in theses walk benefits. We break-down the countless benefits of walking, and why you should incorporate this activity into your daily routine.

In our fast-paced, constantly busy world, it can be really easy to just stay indoors for all (or most) of the day. We’ve got plenty of entertainment: TV, social media, mobile games, video games, and countless others. These can occupy and fill those moments of boredom. However, going outside for a walk can be beneficial in countless ways. But you’ve heard this before. We’re told all the time that going outside is good for you. We decided to take a deep dive into how exactly going for an outdoor walk benefits us, and what we discovered has transformed our perspective on getting outdoors.

Below we’ve broken down the benefits of going for a walk into a few different categories:

Exercise

When we go for a walk outside, we exercise. Exercising triggers the release of endorphins (happiness hormones) in our brain, suppresses cortisol (a stress hormone), as well as helps shift the mind away from worries by channeling strong emotions into a physical motion.

Sun

Sunlight not only energizes us as it helps reset our circadian rhythm (our body’s inner clock), helping our body figure out when the right time to go to sleep is, but it also comes with countless other benefits. Sunlight makes us feel happier as it triggers our brain to release more serotonin (a happiness hormone). It enhances our vitamin D levels, leading to stronger bones, better immune function, and overall health. Walking outside for just 15 minutes a day can significantly increase your vitamin D levels.

Increases Vitamin N (Nature)

As odd as it may sound, researchers have coined the term “Vitamin N” to refer to the health benefits of nature. Just like vitamins from food, nature is very beneficial to our health. Spending time outdoors, even for short periods, can boost our immune system (from sun), increase creativity by allowing us to recharge our directed-attention, boosts eyesight, and more, which you can explore in this BIT.

Connect With Others

Want to spend more time with a family member or friend? Invite them to join you for a walk, or walk to their house/a meet-up spot. Want some alone time after a chaotic day? Ask your parents, and with their permission, go for a walk (but stay relatively close to home), independently. However, when we go for a walk with another person, we not only get to reap all the mental and physical benefits of going for a walk, but we also get to catch-up and spend time with someone we care about. This boosts our mood, because when we connect with someone, our brain releases oxytocin, another happiness hormone.

Three teenage girls walking in a neighbourhood.  The girl on the right is wearing blue denim jeans, a red tshirt, with short, brown, straight hair.  On the left, there is a teen girl with short, straight, brown hair, wearing a yellow hoodie and black pants, holding another teen girl up on her shoulders.  The girl on top of the shoulder also has short, straight, brown hair, and is wearing a black-and-white striped tshirt.  They are all smiling.  In the bottom right corner, "connect" is written.

With the compelling scientific evidence supporting the benefits of going outside, especially for a walk, it’s clear that incorporating outdoor time into our daily routines is vital for our overall well-being. So, whether it’s a stroll in the park, a hike in the woods, or a leisurely walk along the beach, spending time outside allows us to connect with nature and reap the rewards it offers. It doesn’t take much, even a 15-20 minute walk around your neighbourhood is enough to enjoy the benefits coming from a simple walk.

We hope that today, you go out for a little walk, and feel a small bit of happiness.

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Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic

CDC.gov

Verywellhealth.com

Harvard University

GirlsGoneStrong.com

Science Direct

MentalHelp.net

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