Eight Mental Health Benefits of Walking

Walk your way to better with 2 weeks free from 99 Walks

By Mary Shoemaker November 4, 2019

We all know walking is good for us physically, but have you ever considered what it can do for your mind and your mood? A lot. A whole lot. Studies show walking:

1. Aids mental health

People who exercise (including walking) reported 43 percent fewer "bad" mental health days, according to a 2018 study published in Lancet Psychiatry.

2. Improves cognition

A study from the British Sports Journal indicated walking improves cognition by calming your nerves and your brain, allowing you to think more creatively and solve problems. 

3. Helps memory

Walking can improve your memory, as this story from the New York Times shows. Just a quick, 10-minute walk has been shown to improve memory and brain function.

4. Decreases depression

Walking can decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia, according to the Mayo Clinic.

5. Relieves stress

Walking can also relieve stress, according to a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine of university students. Those students who walked had lower stress levels than students who exercised strenuously or didn't exercise at all. 

6. Acts as a natural antidepressant

Walking was shown to be a powerful antidepressant for certain clinically depressed adults in a study published in the Official Journal of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

7. Increases energy levels

Walking even short distances can increase your energy levels, allowing you to feel more accomplished and less tired at the end of each day, this study from the British Medical Journal indicated.

8. Helps you sleep better

Walking outdoors, especially in the morning, can help your body get in tune with our natural daily rhythms. The National Sleep Organization says activity and daylight can set your internal clock and help you fall asleep faster and sleep better that night. 

Our friends at 99 Walks know a thing or two about just how great walking can be for your physical and mental health. Every month, hundreds of women who want to get moving join the 99 Walks’ challenge and fall in love with the supportive community, daily inspiration, motivational classes, and the gorgeous, wearable inspiration they receive when they crush their goal. Plus you can get your first two weeks free! 

Ready to walk your way to better mental health? Join the 99 Walks November challenge, walk 33 miles (or set your own goal) and earn the gorgeous "Thankful & Grateful" bracelet pictured below when you crush your goal. You’ll be healthier, happier, and glad you did! Try your first two weeks free!