The Benefits of Going for a Walk Every Day

Bell Let’s Talk day might be over, but that does not mean that the conversation surrounding mental health should stop. During the COVID-19 crisis, taking care of our mental health has never been more important. With the lack of meaningful face-to-face social connections, it is easy to feel alone and lacking energy.

To combat this, I have been coming up with methods to keep myself moving and active. Exercise is an incredibly important aspect of self-care, and it is astonishing what a 20-minute walk can do for your mindset. Because of this great benefit, I have made it a goal to go for one each day. While this was something that I did pre-COVID, it has become an even more essential part of my daily routine during this crazy time.

My first recommendation would be to find a time of day that works for you – this may have to change depending on how busy your lecture schedule is, but I find it easiest to get out in the morning somewhere between 10-12. This means by the time I get back (as my walk is usually 35 minutes), it is almost lunchtime. I love lunch (plus who isn’t revolving their lives around meals right now?), so having my walk in this time span really keeps me going.

Secondly, every few days I try to switch up the path I take to make my walks more exciting. Being lucky enough to live within walking distance of some big old houses, some days I will go and walk there rather than my usual loop of the lake near my house. This is a bit of a longer walk, so I will do this one if I have the energy or want to get out of the house for longer.

I won’t lie – some days, it can be hard to get outside when I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Another factor is the winter weather – with it feeling like -21 some days (WHY?) all I want to do is stay curled up on my desk chair.

However, no matter how cold it is, I never regret going for a walk when I arrive home. Having gotten fresh air and given my brain some time to relax, I feel active and prepared to take on my assignments with a refreshed outlook.

I encourage you to give this a try – even if you can’t do it every day at first, you can build up to it! Stay safe, and make sure to have a good music playlist (or podcast) on hand to listen to when you go out. Make sure to be cautious of the sidewalks, as they can be VERY slippery, and take some needed rest time. You deserve it!