Walking off the blues

Right now, many of us are pretty fed up. Levels of anxiety and depression have increased across the country. It’s difficult to get in your 10,000 steps a day when the longest journey you make is between your desk and the cupboard where the biscuits are kept. 

That’s why the Scottish walking charity, Paths for All, has launched their new Walking with Nature campaign to help us ease our anxieties and improve our happiness and life satisfaction. 

In 2019, a study by researchers at the University of Exeter showed that spending just two hours a week in nature had tremendous benefits for overall health and wellbeing. Don’t think you need to have access to the hills or the countryside to benefit either, as the researchers found that beaches, urban parks or green spaces were just as effective as majestic mountains or rural views. 

A ten minute walk can relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety to the same extent as a 45 minute workout. Other studies suggest that
walking can make you more creative, alleviate depression, increase the size of your brain, reduce the risk of stroke and even lower the risk of death by 39% compared to taking no exercise. Also, it gives you the excuse to buy new trainers. 

The online campaign hub at pathsforall.org.uk/lets-walk-once-a-day-this-winter is designed to help people understand how to connect and enjoy nature whilst providing a variety of ideas, activities and information designed to motivate everyone to get outdoors. You can also find out about local woodland walks in the shire, National Trust for Scotland estate walks and local parks in the city at aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/8778/woodlandwalks170409.pdf, nts.org.uk and aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/leisure-culture-and-parks/parks-and-gardens respectively. 

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