Hike it Baby’s Winter Walk for the Website Challenge encourages individuals and families to head outside for a ten-minute walk every day in the month of February. The Winter Walk Challenge aims to get people outside during the part of the year where most of us could use extra outdoor time. February brings cold temperatures, more cloudy days, and snow and ice for many parts of the country, making it one of the toughest months to get outside. However, a ten-minute walk outside helps you gain both the mental and physical benefits of activity outdoors.

Two men walking with a stroller and a dog

Let’s Start with A Walk

Walking alone is good for your health. According to the CDC, physical activity accumulated in segments of at least ten minutes can improve a variety of health-related outcomes.

Healthier Hearts

Walking, as they say, “gets the blood flowing”. It helps reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar which can help fight heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Improves Brain Function

A walk can help refresh your mind. Cognitive benefits including improved attention, concentration, and problem-solving.

Better Sleep

According to the Sleep Foundation, researchers have found that people who exercised regularly, including walking, fell asleep more quickly, slept longer, and had better quality sleep than those who did vigorous exercise or lifted weights.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a simple 10-minute walk may be as effective as a 45-minute workout in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.

Take Your Walk Outside

There is plenty of research on the health benefits of spending time outdoors. Time outside is an immediate mood booster and has proven to be beneficial to mental health. Researchers from the University of Essex found that spending as little as five minutes doing “green exercise,” or activity in nature, was enough to boost study participants’ mood and self-esteem. Among office workers, even a view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

The outdoors activates all of our senses. When we walk outside the scenery changes as we move so we are more present in our environment. This practice of mindfulness has lasting effects on our overall mental well-being.

How to Make Your Outdoor Walk a Habit

Mix up your ten-minute family walks with these ideas, including playing a follow the leader game or looking for signs of nature. Mind, Body, Green offers a few simple ways to squeeze the walk into your day:

1. Go for a walk first thing in the morning (you won’t believe how well this works to wake you up)!

2. Make your meetings walking meetings (instead of sitting meetings).

3. Go for a lunchtime walk.

4. Take public transportation or drive a few blocks away from your final destination and walk the last part instead.

5. Get in an after-dinner walk (this can feel great for digestion).

Here’s the best part, friends. That daily walk will become a healthy habit. And if you can make it happen in February, you know you can make it happen any time of year. Who’s up for a walking streak?


About Hike it Baby

Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create a world where everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of spending time outside. We are focused on creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. We believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. Since its grassroots inception in 2013, Hike it Baby is a growing community of 270,000 families and over 400 volunteer Branch Ambassadors. More information, as well as outdoor engagement events, can be found at HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Photo courtesy of Kyla Phillips, @mirroredmomentsphotography

Editors Note:

We hope you enjoyed reading this article from Hike it Baby. We’re working hard to provide our community with content and resources that inform, inspire, and entertain you.
But content is not free. It’s built on the hard work and dedication of writers, editors, and volunteers. We make an investment in developing premium content to make it easier for families with young children to connect with nature and each other. We do not ask this lightly, but if you can, please make a contribution and help us extend our reach.

Sources:

https://www.thehealthy.com/exercise/walking/walking-benefits-15-minutes/

One thought on “How a Ten-Minute Walk Outside Can Improve Your Overall Well-being

  • Avatar
    Storm De Beul

    Great article, Sara! I feel like a walk in nature is so underrated. It’s healthy and improves your mood, as you said, but it’s also a great place to make new friends. People in nature have stronger feelings of unity with other people, are more engaged in helping and supporting each other, and have stronger feelings of belonging 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this information. You can expect to see me on this website more often, because I really like the content on this website!
    -Storm

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