May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
We all need to be responsible for caring for our own and our family’s health in all ways. There is plenty of awareness of the need to move for physical health but perhaps we are not as aware of the mental health benefits of walking/moving outdoors and specifically why Nordic Walking is so beneficial.
Our world is extremely stressful these days and many of us suffer from anxiety and depression as a result. The isolation, the forced inactivity, the fear and uncertainty are very difficult to deal with day after day. As our quality of life suffers so does our mental health. The answer? Get moving and get outside! But how do we get out to exercise in a safe and effective way? Nordic Walking is the answer!
Studies show that simply being in a natural outdoor space lowers our stress levels and refreshes our brains. A walk outside increases the production of “happy” chemicals like serotonin and endorphin which improve our sense of wellbeing. When we add the poles the natural rhythm of our bodies moving in one cadence is very soothing to our minds and spirits. As you move into the rhythm and flow of the poles, your mind is freed to become more creative and to see other possibilities. It’s a healing walk, you’ll be energized, relaxed, and feel better about yourself and the world around you after your Nordic walk.
Here’s a great article about a man in Scotland prescribed “Ramblers” for his depression during Covid. He found relief with a hiking group.
So if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, down, out of energy, grab your poles and a friend and get outside! You’re sure to feel better in all ways when you finish your walk!