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“Hot Girl Walks”: The New Fad Wellness Trend

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

The new fad wellness trend on social media is… walking! That’s right, walking. But women on social media have rebranded this seemingly simple activity as the “hot girl walk”. The #hotgirlwalk has about 500 million views on TikTok and has been circling as the best activity for improving mental and physical health.

But what is a hot girl walk, and what makes it different from a regular walk? Hot girl walks have rebranded walks as a valid and desirable form of exercise that emphasizes mentally decompressing and focusing on your goals, manifestations, and gratitude. Hot girl walks are about feeling good about yourself and positively transforming your mindset. This can mean putting on your favorite workout outfit to feel like your best self, listening to your favorite self-improvement podcast, or just enjoying nature’s solitude and letting your mind decompress.

I have been an advocate of hot girl walks for two years now. Hot girl walks have become a staple of my daily routine and have made me both mentally and physically healthier. Because these walks have become such a big part of my life, I did some research to learn more about the effects of daily outdoor walks.

According to The Journal of Environmental Psychology, walking outdoors has restorative effects that have been psychologically and physiologically accounted for in terms of reduction in cognitive fatigue, decreased stress levels, and increased focus. Additionally, according to a Prevention article, walking releases endorphins, which improve mood, trigger positive feelings in the body, and reduce tension and depression. Moreover, regular outdoor walks improve your nervous system, leading to decreased levels of anger and hostility. Other neurotransmitters released when walking are dopamine, which increases pleasure and motivation; norepinephrine, which moderates the brain’s response to stress; and serotonin, which are brain chemicals that regulate your mood and increase satisfaction.

Ready to start incorporating walking into your daily routine? Here are some tips for mastering the hot girl walk:

  • Don’t use hot girl walks to achieve a fitness goal. Yes, walking is a fantastic exercise with great physical benefits. However, focusing solely on your fitness goal will take away from channeling this time to improve your mental well-being.
  • Stay safe! I advocate for not letting fear stop you from independent activities such as walking outdoors alone. However, safety is essential. If possible, try to walk during daylight hours in a populated area. If you are listening to music or a podcast, keep the volume to a point that you can still hear the noise around you. Lastly, always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Get outside. While you can walk on a treadmill, hot girl walks are most effective as an outdoor activity. A 2013 journal called, The Great Outdoors, shows evidence linking beneficial physiological changes in response to exercise in nature compared to other environments, such as gyms. This study indicates that relaxed, passive nature viewing may help people deal with acute stress more readily than physical exercise with or without nature exposure.
  • Enjoy yourself. Hot girl walks are only beneficial if it is a time you feel good about yourself. Make this time a judgment-free zone, and stay curious and motivated. This is not an activity that is meant to pressure you or set expectations.

“Walking brings me back to myself.”

Laurette Mortimer

Meredith is a recent college graduate and PR professional who loves writing about all things beauty, lifestyle, health, wellness, and pop-culture. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can catch her going on long walks, playing with her two dachshunds, or catching up on her latest TV obsession, Law and Order.