A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.
In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
"Walking has always been there for me, my confidence has grown immensely. I'm a totally different person now than I was ten years ago and I owe so much of that to walking."
Kath, walker with bipolar disorder
The physical improvements you gain by walking can help to improve your mental health too. If you feel fitter and feel in control of your weight, your body image and confidence can increase - so it's not just the physical benefits that you'll notice when you start walking.