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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

If you’ve been on TikTok anytime in the last few months, you’ve most likely heard of the Hot Girl Walk. Mia Lind, a 23-year-old college student turned social media influencer, transformed her quarantine neighborhood walks into a viral trend. The genius behind this walk is that it’s not as much about physical appearance as one might think. Contrary to what the name may imply, Hot Girl Walks are for everybody and offer many physical and mental health benefits.

How do Hot girl walks help my mental health?

The Hot Girl Walk is supposed to be just as much of an exercise for the mind as it is for the body. The purpose is not about becoming an ideal body type or achieving an impossible fitness goal, but rather about mindfulness and self-reflection. 

When you’re on your Hot Girl Walk, there are three main things that you can think about: things you’re grateful for, your goals and how you’re going to achieve them and how hot you are because, after all, being hot is a state of mind. Avoid being critical of yourself and make sure to bring your mind back to what you’re grateful for instead of letting the intrusive thoughts win. 

What do I listen to?

There’s really no wrong answer here. Some people may choose to listen to the sounds of nature and just enjoy being outside. You can also listen to music; I recommend either a playlist of your favorite feel-good songs, or something upbeat and brisk to keep a good pace. Others choose to listen to an audiobook that they’ve been dying to read. I also recommend listening to podcasts if that’s something that you enjoy. My favorites include Take the Cake, which focuses on body image and self-confidence,  and Unf*ck Your Brain, a podcast for high-achieving women who struggle with self-doubt, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. 

How far do I need to walk?

Many people may not view walking as a true form of exercise, but you don’t need to be pushing your body through strenuous activity to reap the benefits. Regular walking has been linked to lower risks of cardiovascular disease, improved memory, decreased stress and improved mood. Additionally, walking is great because it doesn’t require a gym membership or any form of equipment. 

Ultimately, there is no set distance that you need to walk; it’s best to do whatever you can! Some days I’ve only had time for a quick 10-minute walk, while other days I try to get through an entire episode of a podcast. Just remember that every little bit counts and that you can start small and work your way up. 

Be safe and smart!

The best, and most fun, way to stay safe is to go with a group of friends. Only go on your outdoor walks during daylight hours and stick to a park or areas with sidewalks. If you’re listening to music or to a podcast, skip out on the noise-canceling headphones. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings. Most importantly, if something feels wrong, trust your gut and turn around or seek a more public area. 

The best thing about Hot Girl Walks is that the benefits don’t end when the walk ends; instead, you carry that energy with you for the rest of the day. Hot Girl Walks have been a game changer in my life. They allow me to destress after work or school and remind myself how I’m continuing to work towards my goals. Over time, they’ve become a habitual part of my life that I now look forward to. If you’re looking to improve your fitness and self-esteem, the Hot Girl Walk may be just the thing you need. 

Maya is a 5th Year Medical Student at UMKC. Even though she is working towards a very STEM orientated major, Maya enjoys using writing as a creative outlet. When Maya isn't studying, she enjoys writing (duh), soccer, music, and shopping.