For such a simple thing, walking in beautiful places brings amazing benefits, from new friendships to raised energy levels, and even fresh inspiration about life itself.
Much has been written on this, and especially after some tough lockdown experiences in which many lived a more isolated, indoor life for a while, it has been widely recognised that we are creatures who need these essentials to enjoy a healthy life, physically and mentally.
NHS Doctors are now encouraged to prescribe walking to promote good health, not just for the benefits to heart and circulation, but for lowering anxiety levels, too, and with these things come general good health. (see NHS article on connecting with nature)
Walking and talking go well together: moving forward alongside another person is an ideal starter for conversation. The side-by-side dynamic allows for a relaxed chat, where eye contact is easy to exchange. And the passing scenery offers constantly refreshed symbolism that is easily related to life’s challenges in a way that keeps us grounded and clear-thinking.
The company of others adds to the positive feeling: the joy of communicating, the sense of being part of a small group, and the reassurance of finding common ground with someone else about the challenges we may be facing.
Add to all this the exhilaration of exercise itself – fresh air filling lungs, blood getting around the body, and the release of endorphins (the feel-good drug) in our brains, and you have perfect conditions for a strong sense of wellbeing.
Walking in great places, especially in the company of others, brings vital health benefits – let’s do more of it!!