Some of the greatest minds that have ever lived, walked
Steve Jobs, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig van Beethoven, more recently Mark Zuckerberg, and of course, all of The Happiness Hunters 🙂
The benefits from walking are huge.
For the last year or so I have spent a lot of my “working” time, walking.
Because I believe in a concept called Life Integration rather than work-life balance.
I know exactly what my priorities are in life and I try to live that life every single day.
I have seen with my very own eyes the benefits that walking provides to people’s well-being – both personally and professionally.
The power in a walking mastermind is not to be underestimated.
The good that comes out.
The genuine willingness to share freely (it must be the action that simulates more open and honest dialogue).
It is a leveller.
And walking with other people builds connection & community in our increasingly disconnected world.
Plus it is amazingly good for your overall well-being.
In researching for this blog I have come across lots of studies which were all just pieces of The Happiness Hunter puzzle.
And then I found this study:
Examining Group Walks in Nature and Multiple Aspects of Well-Being: A Large-Scale Study
It’s like the holy grail of everything I have been trying to communicate over the last year and a half.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Dr Google.
The key finding of this study is this:
Group walks in nature were associated with significantly lower depression, perceived stress, and negative affect, as well as enhanced positive affect and mental well-being, both before and after controlling for covariates. There were no group differences on social support. In addition, nature-based group walks appear to mitigate the effects of stressful life events on perceived stress and negative affect while synergizing with physical activity to improve positive affect and mental well-being.
In a statement, the author of the study, Sara Warber said:
“Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”
Here are my TOP FIVE benefits of walking
1. Walking boosts creative inspiration – if you are stuck or want to get a new angle on a problem or idea GO FOR A WALK.
According to a Stanford study, a person’s creative output increased by a whopping 60% when out walking.
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR DESK PEOPLE.
2. Walking is good for you physically
There are many, many studies that back up this claim – walking has been proven to lower mortality, it’s good for your heart, can reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and has been proven to have an impact on various other chronic diseases.
I’ve been going on the walks regularly for the last 15 months (1 – 2 times a week) and as cheesy as it might sound – it has changed my life. The support, energy, motivation, clarity, and inspiration I have received have all been priceless, and nothing short of transformational – both personally and professionally. I love this network of people, many of whom have now become great friends, and am extremely grateful to Fiona for leading us on this journey. I cannot recommend The Happiness Hunter enough – it is soooo much more than ‘just a walk’ or networking – it can change the way you live and the way you work. – Beverley
3. Walking is good for your mental health
Research findings currently indicate that walking can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, resulting in improved quality of life.
Walking has been shown to:
- reduce physical symptoms of anxiety associated with minor stress;
- increase self‐reported energy levels when older adults set their own pace;
- improve sleep quality;
- elevate affective response (e.g. pleasure), resulting in increased psychological well‐being for individuals with type 2 diabetes;
- be associated with better cognitive performance at school;
- improve the cognitive functioning of older adults (compared to stretching and toning);
- improve cognitive performance and reduce cognitive decline among older people;
- increase the size of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, potentially beneficial for memory
Anecdotally I can vouch for this.
We have had walkers come with us, who were too depressed to even talk.
But they walked.
They were welcomed.
They were loved through their sadness.
They had somewhere to come.
And one day, they talked again.
Walking, especially in nature, is good.
All of The Happiness Hunter walks are held in beautiful natural locations (with good coffee nearby).
4. Walking is a particularly accessible form of physical activity
It is low‐impact, appropriate for all age‐groups, and is free.
5. Walking makes you feel good
You are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
Come walking with The Happiness Hunter and you get the added benefits of genuine connection in a positive and uplifting community. Find your nearest walk here, or get in touch with me to find out more. All of our walks are free and open to anyone to attend.
And, if you are interested, here is just a handful of the articles I came across while researching.