How to Walk Your Way to Better Mental Health

Let’s go back in time to the spring of 2020, when the time that we used to spend hanging out with friends was clouded by quarantine measures and social isolation rules. Suddenly, our group activities shifted to being solitary ones and became an everyday routine for some. Cue the Hot Girl Walk. 

Think of it as an upgraded version of the casual neighbourhood stroll. You may have come across videos of people taking part in the trend on your TikTok For You page. All you have to do is grab some comfy clothes, a good pair of walking shoes, headphones, and you’re off! No destination required (although a common theme of the HGW is a stop at your favourite coffee shop for an iced treat!).

Why walking?

Despite being a viral hashtag, the Hot Girl Walk is more than just a social media trend. While leisure walks have been around for ages, the renewed hype around it makes sense. Walking is a simple but effective way to enhance your physical and mental wellbeing – and there’s science to prove it. 

According to the Canadian Psychological Association, taking part in regular physical activity for at least 10 minutes a day can have many mental health benefits, including:

  • Preventing depression and anxiety disorders 
  • Reducing day-to-day stress
  • Boosting academic performance in youth and young adults
  • Increasing happiness and lowering levels of sadness and loneliness
  • Reducing fatigue, and improving sleep quality
  • Enhancing overall self-esteem

The best part is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Any time of day, in the city or out in nature – it’s an investment in your physical and mental health. Just remember to stay safe: avoid walking in secluded areas by yourself, invite a friend to join you if possible, and always let someone know before you head out. 

While pandemic restrictions might be easing and life seems to be getting back to normal, it doesn’t mean that we need to abandon the helpful self-care strategies that we took on over the last few years. Keep making your mental health a priority and enjoy the benefits that it has on your mind, body, and soul. 
For more self-care tips, keep an eye on our blog and be sure to follow us on IG @EmpowHERto!

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