The acclaimed English writer
Charles Dickens once wrote, “Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy.” Mr. Dickens
made a great point long before any scientific research supported his statement.
Walking, either on a leisurely stroll or at a moderate pace for distance,
results in health benefits for your whole body. Physical and mental health are
positively impacted by walking. While it is lower impact than running, the
benefits to your heart are similar. Mentally, walking can help improve mood by
leading to a release of endorphins—natural hormones that improve mood. A breath
of fresh air can also help to improve mood. Simply being outdoors has stress
With fitness centers and gyms closed, along with many other
facilities, there is still one thing you can do for your health and happiness:
walk. Even with all of the social distancing guidelines, you can still go on
walks. Get to know your neighborhood on foot or spend time walking on nearby
walking and biking paths, or go walking downtown. Nature areas also make for
great places to walk in. To find one do a Google search for “parks nearby” or
visit www.findyourpark.com to locate a park near you.Getting more familiar with the nature spaces
in your community can positively impact your mental and physical health while
adhering to the current executive orders for social distancing and community
mitigation of COVID-19.
In the past few weeks, more and more events social
gatherings have been cancelled. Many people are now working from home, or their
workplaces have temporarily closed. As a result, for many, isolation has set
in. This isolation can negatively impact an individual’s health and well-being.
Scheduling a walk every day or even just a few times a week can bring back a
sense of routine to our otherwise interrupted lives. Start small, and work your
way up to longer distances or a quicker pace. Walk on the sidewalks where you
can, and walk toward traffic when you can’t be on a sidewalk. Wear bright
clothing if walking in rural areas, or on the side of the road. Following a few
safety tips can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. And just seeing people
across the street or on the trail will help bring a smile to your face—while,
of course, practicing social distancing.